Running electoral registration - Wales

Availability of paper proxy vote application forms

You should ensure that you have an adequate supply of paper proxy vote application forms available in case an elector is unable to print forms off themselves or, for UK Parliamentary elections and Police and Crime Commissioner elections is not able to use the proxy vote application service.

You must supply, free of charge, a reasonable quantity of paper proxy vote application forms to people who wish to use them in connection with a poll, which includes political parties.1  

Paper proxy vote application forms should also be made available at all public offices of the local authority and at other premises frequented by electors.

A number of organisations, including the Electoral Commission and political parties, also provide proxy vote application forms. 

You should liaise with local political parties and any local organisations or groups who produce proxy application forms to make them aware of the requirements for proxy applications for each type of poll and to provide advice on the content and format of their forms. This should help avoid unnecessary delays in processing applications and help to avoid electors having to re-submit an application that has not been made correctly. This is particularly important at election time when any delay could result in the elector missing the deadline.

You should ensure that local political parties, candidates and agents at elections are aware of their responsibilities in relation to handling proxy applications. If they are given completed paper proxy application forms, they should forward them directly and without delay to the elections office.

The Commission has developed a Code of conduct for campaigners at UK Parliamentary and Police and Crime Commissioner elections and a Code of conduct for campaigners at Senedd and local elections in Wales. You should liaise with the Returning Officer (if you are not also the Returning Officer) at any elections that are taking place to ensure that all candidates and agents are provided with copies of the relevant code and know how to obtain additional copies if required.

These codes provide a guide as to what is, and is not, considered acceptable behaviour at polling stations and in the community during the lead-up to polling day, including in relation to proxy vote applications. Any concerns that the codes have been breached should be raised first with the candidate, agent, political party or campaigner in question. If you have any further concerns or wish to report a breach of the code, you should first contact your local Commission team.

These codes have been agreed by the political parties represented on the House of Commons Parliamentary Parties Panel and the panels for the Scottish Parliament and the Senedd, and are endorsed by the members of the Electoral Commission’s UK Electoral Coordination and Advisory Board of senior Returning and Electoral Registration Officers and by the Electoral Integrity Roundtable. 

Last updated: 16 May 2024