Applying to vote by post
You need to sign your application form personally because the electoral registration office needs a copy of your signature for voting security reasons. We know it’s slightly less convenient than submitting it online, but it helps to ensure the security of your vote and is used to tackle electoral fraud.
Who can apply for a postal vote?
This does not apply in Northern Ireland – find out more on the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland website.
Where can I get my postal vote sent?
Postal votes can be sent overseas, but you need to consider whether there will be enough time to receive and return your ballot paper by election day.
When will I receive my ballot papers?
Postal ballots can only be sent out once the deadline to become a candidate has passed and the ballot papers have subsequently been produced and printed. Contact your local electoral registration office for further information on when your postal ballot papers will be issued.
Once you’ve got it, mark your vote on the ballot paper and make sure you send it back so that it arrives by 10pm on the day of the election or referendum). If it arrives later than this, your vote won’t be counted.
When you get your postal voting papers
- Put them somewhere safe
- Don't let anyone else handle them
- Make sure they are not left where someone else can pick them up
- Complete your ballot paper in secret, on your own
- Don't let anyone else vote for you
- Don't let anyone else see your vote
- Don't give the ballot paper to anyone else
- Put the ballot paper in the envelope and seal it up yourself
- Complete and sign the postal voting statement
- Put the postal voting statement and the envelope containing your ballot paper into the larger envelope and seal it.
- Take it to the post box yourself, if you can
- If you can't do that, either give it to somebody you know and trust to post it for you, or ring your local electoral registration office, to ask if they can collect it from you
- Don't hand it to a candidate or party worker unless no other way is practical
- Don't leave it where someone else can pick it up
If you have any other queries, ring your local electoral registration office – you can get their contact details on this site by entering your postcode.