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Voting by proxy
About voting by proxy
If you are unable to get to your polling station on polling day, you can nominate someone you trust to go to your polling station and fill in your ballot paper for you. This is called voting by proxy.
You must be registered to vote to apply to vote by proxy and you will need to be able to give a reason why you are not able to attend.
You can apply to vote by proxy temporarily for one election, or in some circumstances, you can apply to vote by proxy long term.
How to apply
You must submit an application form to be granted with a postal vote.
- Download the relevant application for yourself or contact Electoral Services to receive a hard copy:
- Apply to vote by proxy temporarily (GOV.UK)
- Apply to vote by proxy long-term due to disability (GOV.UK)
- Apply to vote by proxy long-term due to employment (GOV.UK) that makes it consistently difficult to attend the polling station
- Apply to vote by proxy long-term due to your attendance on an educational course (GOV.UK) that makes it consistently difficult to attend the polling station
- Apply to vote by proxy long-term if you’re in the armed forces (GOV.UK)
- Apply to vote by proxy long-term if you’re a Crown servant or British Council employee (GOV.UK)
- Apply to vote by proxy long-term if you’re a British citizen living overseas (GOV.UK)
- Complete the application form, making sure to include the details of the person you would like to nominate as your proxy
- If you are applying to vote by proxy long-term you will also need to provide evidence or a countersignature to support your application
- Return your completed form by uploading it to our contact form OR by posting it to Electoral Services, Hinckley Hub, Rugby Road, Hinckley, LE10 0FR
The deadline to apply to vote by proxy is always 5pm, 6 working days before polling day, but you are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
If you’re not sure when the deadline is for a particular election, you can contact Electoral Services.
Choosing your proxy
Your proxy is the person you have nominated to go to your polling station and fill out your ballot paper. This is why it is important that they are someone you trust.
Your proxy must be registered to vote and eligible to vote in the type of election taking place. They can be a member of your family or a friend, but there is a limit on the number of people they can act as proxy for.
Your proxy does not need to be registered to vote in the same local authority area as you, but they will need to be able to get to your allocated polling station to be able to fill in your ballot paper.
How to vote by proxy
All you need to do is tell your proxy how you would like to vote. Your proxy will then visit your polling station on polling day. The process is almost the same as normally voting at the polling station, except for a few differences:
- At the desk, the proxy will need to tell the presiding officer that they are acting as a proxy. They will also need to give the name and address of the person on whose behalf they are voting. The presiding officer will check this on the list of proxy voters.
- From 4 May 2023, the proxy will also need to show their own photo ID or Voter Authority Certificate to the polling station staff.
Frequently asked questions about voting by proxy
How do I know if I have a proxy vote?
If you have been granted a long-term proxy or you have applied early enough, your poll card will confirm the details of your proxy when you get your poll card. Your proxy will also get a poll card telling them where they need to go.
If you’re still not sure, contact Electoral Services and we will confirm whether your postal vote has been set up.
The only person who can be my proxy lives too far away - what should I do?
If your proxy can’t get to your allocated polling station, you could apply to vote by post. If this is not a suitable alternative for you, your proxy can apply for a postal vote on your behalf. This is called a postal proxy vote. As this can be a complicated process, it is best to contact Electoral Services directly for advice.
A member of my family has dementia/does not have capacity to vote - can they have a proxy vote?
While we want to ensure that all vulnerable people do not lose their right to vote, it is very important that the person nominating a proxy is able to tell them how they would like to vote. The proxy must not make any assumptions nor try to influence the way that someone votes. Multiple voting is an electoral fraud and can be a criminal offence.
My plans have changed and I can get to the polling station now - should I cancel my proxy vote?
Provided your proxy hasn’t requested a postal proxy vote or they haven’t attended the polling station yet, you can still vote in person at the polling station, so there is no need to cancel it.
That said, if you want to make sure that your proxy cannot attend the polling station before you accidentally, you should cancel your postal vote before the deadline on 5pm, 6 working days before polling day.
How do I cancel my proxy vote?
If you would like to cancel your proxy vote, you will need to send us a signed letter requesting the cancellation. We ask you to do this so that we can be sure that no one is trying to remove your proxy vote without your consent.
Your letter should state your name, your full address, and your signature clearly.
To cancel the proxy fully by polling day, we need to have received your letter by 5pm, 6 working days before polling day.
Last updated: 09/05/2023 18:00