Postal / Proxy voting
If you can't get to your polling station on election day, you don't have to miss your chance to vote. Registered electors can apply to vote by post or by proxy (appointing someone to vote on your behalf).
You can set up either of these at any time in advance of an election - you do not need to wait until an election is being held to apply. Completed application forms for postal votes must reach our office by no later than 5pm on the eleventh working day before an election. Applications for proxy votes must normally reach us by no later than 5pm on the sixth working day before an election. However, "medical emergency" proxy votes will be allowed after this up to 5pm on the day of the poll.
How postal voting works
Postal votes are available to anyone who wants one provided they are on the electoral register. You may set one up on a permanent basis or one temporarily for a specific election. You can also have one set up for a specific period (e.g. while a student is away at university).
A postal vote can be sent to the voter's home address or to an address where he/she is resident at the time of the election. However, for security reasons, existing postal voters must give a reason if they ask for their postal votes to be re-directed.
You will receive a Postal Voting Statement form you must complete, and an envelope in which to place your marked ballot paper. Return both the form and the sealed ballot-paper envelope in the larger prepaid envelope that will also be provided.
Voting from overseas
If you want the postal vote to be sent to an overseas address, you should be confident that the postal services can deliver it to you and return it to the relevant election office in the UK within five working days. If you are not sure that this can be done, the best idea might be to appoint a proxy vote on your behalf.
The larger envelope for the return of the documents will not be prepaid if you have asked for the postal vote to be sent to an address outside the UK.
Please note that once you have been sent a postal ballot paper you will not be able to vote in person.
Call us on 01476 40 60 80 and we can send an application form to you in the post.
Getting your vote in on time
It is not possible normally to send out postal votes any earlier than about eight working days in advance of an election being held. This should give the elector ample opportunity to fill out the ballot paper and return it by post to our office before the close of poll on election day. Postal votes can also be returned by hand to the Council Offices, Grantham or to a polling station within the appropriate electoral area, again before the close of poll.
A voter sent a postal vote will not be allowed to vote in person at a polling station. Replacements for lost or spoilt postal voting papers can be collected from the Council Offices, Grantham up to 5pm on the day of the poll. In these circumstances, voters will be asked to produce proof of identity.
How voting by proxy works
A 'proxy' is someone who is appointed by you to vote on your behalf at an election, so to vote by proxy you must first find someone who is willing to attend your polling station and cast your vote on your behalf.
There are two types of proxy voting:
- Permanent proxy voting - Permanent proxy voting is only available to registered electors on the grounds of health, employment or full time education commitments. Please contact Electoral Services to request a copy of the appropriate application form. This form may need to be supported by a suitably qualified person, in accordance with the notes printed on the form.
- Temporary proxy voting - Temporary proxy voting is available to any registered elector for any reason. Applications are made for a specific election and do not need to be supported by anyone. Please contact Electoral Services to request the appropriate application form.
A proxy must be at least 18 years old and not disqualified to vote in his or her own right. For a General Election, the proxy must be a British, Commonwealth or Irish citizen. For Local Government or European Parliamentary Elections, he or she may be a citizen of the European Union.
No one may act as a proxy for more than two people at the same election, unless he or she is the spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild of the voter.
If you appoint a proxy and then have a change of plans, you may still vote in person at your polling station - providing you do so before the proxy has voted on your behalf!
Postal proxy voting
If your proxy cannot attend your polling station in person for any reason on the day of the election, they can apply to vote by post. To apply for a postal proxy, both the proxy and the elector will need to complete a form. Please note that if your proxy has been allocated a postal proxy you will not be able to vote at the polling station, even if your proxy has not yet voted.
Please contact Electoral Services to request a copy of the appropriate application form.
- Call us on 01476 40 60 80 and we can send an application form to you in the post.