Guidance for Returning Officers administering Local Government Elections in England

Absent Voting

The effective management of the absent voting process is essential to ensure that absent voting is accessible and that electors are able to exercise their vote as they have requested.

This section includes guidance on the absent voting timetable, the key deadlines for the process and how and when electors can make changes to their existing absent voting arrangements ahead of an election. It also covers arrangements that should be put in place for proxy voting, and guidance for the issuing of postal votes, including how to quality assure the process.

You will also find guidance on the processes that must be followed on the receipt of postal votes. It includes information on the postal vote opening process, who can attend postal vote opening sessions and the records you must keep as part of the process.

Last updated: 19 December 2023