You can apply to vote by post if you are unable to attend your polling station on election day. Your ballot paper will be posted to you shortly before an election.
A postal vote can be sent to your home address, or to any other address that you supply, including overseas. You will need to consider whether there will be enough time to receive and return your ballot paper by election day.
Apply for a postal vote
You can apply for a postal vote online:
Postal vote applications are only valid for three years. You will need to reapply for a postal vote at the end of this time. All postal vote applications will require ID verification.
How to complete your postal vote
You will receive your postal votes shortly before election day. Once you have received it:
- Mark your vote on the ballot paper provided
- Complete the postal voting statement – This is your date of birth and signature. This will need to match the details provided on your application form, or your postal vote could be rejected.
- Seal the ballot paper and the postal voting statement in the envelope’s provided (detailed instructions are in included)
- Post it so that it arrives by 10pm on election day. If it arrives later than this, your vote will not be counted.
Visit the Electoral Commission website for more information about postal voting and to apply.
Postal vote handling
Campaigners are restricted on the handling of postal votes. It is a criminal offence for parties and campaigners to handle completed postal votes and postal vote envelopes. Only voters, a family member or a designated carer will be able to hand in a postal vote. Voters will not be allowed to hand in more than five postal ballot packs (in addition to their own).
The Electoral Commission: Voting by post video
- October 2023