If you know that you won't be able to get to the polling station on polling day, you can ask someone you trust to cast your vote for you.
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.
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 below.
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 emergency
- If you are away for work
- If your photo ID is lost, stolen, destroyed or damaged, and the deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate has passed
- If your Anonymous Elector's Document is lost, stolen, destroyed or damaged and it is too close to the election to get it replaced
*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 one of the emergency proxy forms 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 contact the relevant polling station.
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 registered to vote and able to attend your polling station to vote on your behalf. The proxy will also need to show photo identification at the polling station, please see our Voter ID page for more information.
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: