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Elections Act 2022

Other changes to elections and voting

The government has passed legislation for the following changes which come into force for elections in 2024 onwards:

Until the new legislation has been passed, the current arrangements for voter franchise will remain, that includes for European Union citizens and the current limitations of overseas electors permitted period for registering to vote.

Absent voting, postal and proxy voting

The absent voting, postal and proxy voting changes are as follows:

  • political parties and campaigners banned from handling postal votes
  • the number of postal votes which a person can hand in at a polling station limited to 6
  • postal voters will need to make a fresh application every 3 years, instead of the 5-yearly signature refresh
  • electors will only be allowed to act as proxy for up to 4 people, of which no more than 2 can be 'domestic electors' (that is not overseas voters)
  • applications will require identity verification - both online and paper applications will include a requirement for the applicant's identity to be verified
  • electors will be able to apply online for an absent vote

Changes to postal vote handling rules have been in force since May 2023.

The online application service has been available since July 2023.

The change to the 3-yearly application process is transitional, and start in January 2024.

Changes to postal vote application and new proxy limits apply from May 2024.

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EU citizens' voting and candidacy rights

EU citizens will no longer automatically be entitled to register, vote, and stand for election.

The following 2 groups of EU citizens will retain their rights:

  • 'qualifying EU citizens' from countries with reciprocal agreements, and who have leave, or do not require it, to remain in the UK - currently Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal and Spain
  • 'EU citizens with retained rights' who were resident in the UK before 1 January 2021 - that is before the UK left the EU

This applies to all local elections and referendums in England and to the Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

EU Citizens' Voting and Candidacy Rights changes apply from 7 May 2024.

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Overseas electors

The overseas electors changes are as follows:

  • the arbitrary 15-year limit on British citizens living abroad is removed
  • overseas electors will be able to register at an address where they were previously registered, or even never registered, where they were last resident
  • the registration period is extended from 1 year to 3 years

The overseas electors changes apply from May 2024.

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Also see

Electoral Services

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 551007

General election 2024

A General Election will be held on Thursday 4 July 2024; use your vote to appoint Members of Parliament (MPs) for the York Central and York Outer parliamentary constituencies.

Vote in the General Election