Guidance for Candidates and Agents at UK Parliamentary general elections in Great Britain

Postal votes

The following sections provide guidance on postal voting and the processes involved.

The guidance covers:

  • Who can apply to vote by post
  • What is contained in postal ballot packs
  • The opening of postal votes and who can attend
  • The postal vote opening process
  • The appointment of postal voting agents and their role

The guidance also covers your duty to maintain secrecy during postal vote opening sessions.

The Elections Act 2022 has introduced specific restrictions regarding the handling of postal votes. This new legislation will be in force for the scheduled polls in May 2024. You will need to make sure your supporters are aware that it is an offence to handle completed ballot papers or postal ballot packs for voters who are not close family or someone they care for and to follow the Code of conduct for campaigners in Great Britain.

Last updated: 20 December 2023