Voting by proxy
How you can get someone else to vote on your behalf.
About voting by proxy
You can get someone to vote on your behalf at your polling station, as long as they are registered to vote on the electoral register. This is known as voting by proxy.
If you want to appoint a proxy for all future elections, you need to give us a valid reason, such as:
- You have a physical condition that prevents you from getting to the polling station
- You won't be able to get to the polling station because of your job or because you are on a college course
- You are a British citizen living abroad
- You are in the armed forces or a crown servant
Check if you are registered to vote by proxy
Please use our check if you are registered to vote service to check your voter registration and see if you are registered for a proxy vote.
Apply for a proxy vote
You can apply for a proxy vote if you are over 18 and on the electoral register.
Please fill in our Proxy vote application form [216kb].
You can return your application by post or email (as long as you have provided a hand written signature on the original and the image you attach is clear and readable) using the contact details on this page.
We must receive your application at least six working days before the election unless you have unforeseen health problems after this deadline. In this case, you can apply for an emergency medical proxy.
In an emergency, you can appoint someone to vote on your behalf at a particular election up to 5pm on polling day.
You can do this in the following circumstances:
- If you have a medical condition, illness or disability that happens after the deadline for ordinary proxy applications
- If you are a mental health patient detained under civil powers
- If your occupation, service or employment means you cannot go to the polling station in person and you became aware of this after the deadline for ordinary proxy applications
- If you are self-isolating as a result of government or medical advice, *or to change an existing proxy if they are unable to vote in person on the elector's behalf because they are self-isolating as a result of government or medical advice
*If the elector has a long-term proxy arrangement, the new proxy arrangement will remain appointed for future elections unless the elector applies again to change or cancel the proxy.
If you apply for an emergency proxy, you will need to be able to verify your reason.
Please complete the relevant emergency proxy form and return it to us either by email (as long as you have provided a non digital signature on the original and the image you attach is clear and readable) or hand delivered to the election team at the council offices before 5pm on polling day. We will then directly contact the relevant polling station.
- Emergency proxy based on disability [151kb]
- Emergency Proxy based on occupation, service and employment [142kb]
- Emergency proxy based on COVID-19 [138kb]
Who can be your proxy
A person can only be a proxy for close relatives and up to two other people at an election or referendum.
The proxy should be able to attend your polling station to vote on your behalf.
Close relatives are the spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild of the applicant.
The person you want to appoint as your proxy must be aged 18 or over and registered individually for that election or referendum.
If your proxy is unable to attend your polling station on election day, he or she can also apply to vote by post for you.
The proxy can do this at any time, but must return the application to us before the deadline for postal votes. This is earlier than the proxy vote deadline.
We will send the ballot paper to the address the proxy has asked us to use. The proxy then fills in your ballot paper and send the vote back to us.
We send ballot papers out between five and ten working days before an election, depending on when we received your application.
If you have a postal proxy vote, you can't change your mind and vote at the polling station on the day.
How to cancel your proxy vote
If you already have a proxy vote and decide you want to cancel it, you can do so using our form: