Vote by proxy

Planned maintenance to payments system

We're making essential updates to our payments system from 1pm on Thurs 19 October to midday on Fri 20 October. We apologise that we won't be able to take online or telephone payments during this time

If you are registered to vote but unable to go to your polling station on election day you can apply to vote by proxy.

A 'proxy' is someone who will go to your normal polling station and vote, with your authority, on your behalf. They can be a relative (spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild), and must be eligible to vote in the election you appoint them.

You can apply to vote by proxy on an indefinite basis for the following reasons:

  • physical incapacity
  • overseas elector
  • studying at university
  • certain occupations such as armed forces

You can appoint a proxy for a specific election if you're unable to attend your polling station due to a journey that would involve travelling over sea or by air, see: Apply to vote by proxy (particular election).

Emergency proxies

In the case where a medical emergencies or occupation requirements don’t allow you to vote in person, you can apply for an emergency proxy (depending on certain criteria):

  • Emergency medical proxy

    To appoint an emergency proxy for medical reasons, you must be taken ill after a certain deadline (declared for each election) and not be aware of an operation that requires hospital or home recovery before that date. Medical proxy forms must be 'attested' (declare to be true) by a medical professional. See: apply to vote by emergency proxy - medical reasons

  • Emergency occupational proxy

    To appoint an emergency proxy because your occupation or employment means you're unable to attend your polling station, you must not be aware of the occupational requirements before a certain deadline (declared for each election). Occupational proxy forms must be 'attested' (declare to be true) by your employer, who will legally state your circumstances were not know before the deadline. See: apply to vote by emergency proxy - occupational reasons

Completing a proxy vote

You'll need to tell your proxy who you want to vote for (eg. which candidate and party).

Your proxy will need to go to your designated polling station on the election day (alternatively they can apply for a postal proxy vote, 11 working days in advance of the election).

Ahead of the election your proxy will receive a letter to take with them to your designated polling station, the letter:

  • confirms their appointment as your proxy
  • tells them where and when to vote on your behalf
  • makes it easier for staff at the polling station to find the right ballot paper

Even if you've appointed a proxy, you can still vote in person, provided:

  • you vote before your proxy has voted for you
  • your proxy has not applied to vote for them by post

Postal proxies

The person you appoint as a proxy can vote by post provided it's arranged before a certain deadline (declared for each election).

Changes to your proxy voting arrangements

To amend the details of your proxy vote you must write to (or email) Electoral Services to request changes; you'll also need to complete a new proxy vote application.

Cancel your proxy vote

To cancel your proxy vote you must write to Electoral Services.

Each person on the electoral register must make a separate written request to cancel their proxy voting arrangements. Cancellations cannot be requested on behalf of someone else.

Also see

Comment on this page
Back to the top of the page