Make sure you're registered

Make sure you're registered

To vote in any election in the UK, you must be registered to vote.

Find out if you're eligible to register and how to apply

Getting a proxy vote

Proxy voting means that if you aren't able to cast your vote in person, you can have someone you trust cast your vote for you.

Your proxy can either go to your polling station to cast your vote, or can apply to vote for you by post.

Information about postal proxy

If your proxy can't get to the polling station, they can apply to vote for you by post. They can apply to do this by 5pm, 11 working days before the poll. They can contact the electoral services team at your local council for more details and to request a further application form.

Apply for a proxy vote in England, Scotland and Wales

To apply for a proxy vote, you have to complete a form and give a reason why you can't get to your polling station in person.

This may be because you're going to be on holiday, or have a physical condition which means you can't get to your polling station on polling day.

Whether or not your reason is accepted will vary depending on:

  • the type of proxy vote you apply for
  • when you apply
  • where in the UK you're registered to vote

England, Scotland and Wales

Returning your form in England, Scotland and Wales

Once you have completed the form and made sure you have signed it, you need to send it to the electoral services team at your local council.

You can return your form by post. The electoral services team at your local council may also accept a scanned copy of your form by email, but you should check with them first.

If you're not sure if you already have a proxy vote, contact the electoral services team at your local council to find out.

print form

If you're unable to print the application form or need it in an accessible format, contact the electoral services team at your local council for help.

Apply for a proxy vote in Northern Ireland

If you're registered to vote in Northern Ireland, you must provide a valid reason as to why you can't attend your polling station in person.

This could be because of:

  • illness
  • disability
  • holiday
  • work arrangements

In certain circumstances, you can also apply for an indefinite proxy vote. You can do this at any time of year.

Download the absent vote form and find out more from the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.

If you registered to vote online, you'll need to provide your Digital Registration Number (DRN) on your application for a proxy vote.

If you're not sure if you already have a proxy vote, contact the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland to find out.

Who can be your proxy

Someone can be your proxy if they are:

  • 18 or over (in Scotland, they can be 16 or over and cast your vote at Scottish Parliamentary and local government elections)
  • registered to vote
  • able to get to your polling station on polling day
  • eligible to vote in the election

Your proxy does not have to be related to you. However, they can only be a proxy for close relatives and a total of two other people at the same election.

What your appointed proxy needs to do on polling day

The person you have appointed as your proxy must go to your polling station to cast your vote.

They will receive a proxy poll card telling them where and when to cast your vote for you.

If they don't receive a proxy poll card, they should check with the electoral services team at your local council. They will be able to tell them where to go and vote.

You can still vote in person if you have a proxy vote, but only if you do so before your proxy has voted for you.

Last updated: 13 December 2019
Next review: 11 September 2020