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Introduction

You can choose to vote in person, by post, or by proxy.

As part of the Elections Act, there are changes to voting by post and proxy. 

For voting by post, you can now apply online and you need to reapply for a postal vote every three years. For voting by proxy, there are limits to how many people you can act as a proxy for and you can apply online for some types of proxy vote.

The changes apply to:

  • UK Parliament elections, including by-elections and recall petitions
  • Local elections in England
  • Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales

At local and Assembly elections in Northern Ireland, the limit to how many people a voter can act as a proxy for will also apply.

There have also been changes to voting in UK Parliament elections for British citizens living overseas. You can find out more by clicking 'Change' in the 'Your location' box and then selecting 'Overseas'.

Introduction

If your last UK address was in England, Scotland or Wales, you can vote by proxy, by post or in person if you will be in the UK on polling day. If your last UK address was in Northern Ireland, you can vote by proxy or in person if you will be in Northern Ireland on polling day.

As part of the Elections Act, a number of changes to voting from overseas now apply:

  • You can register to vote if you previously lived in the UK but were not registered to vote. 
  • You can register to vote in the UK no matter how long ago you left or were last registered to vote.
  • Your overseas declaration is now valid for three years, lasting until 1 November in the third year after it takes effect (for example, if your declaration takes effect on 1 March 2024, it will expire on 1 November 2026).
  • You can now register online (not available in Northern Ireland). 

There are also changes to voting by post and proxy. For voting by post, you can now apply online and you need to reapply for a postal vote every three years. For voting by proxy, there are limits to how many people you can act as a proxy for and you can apply online for some types of proxy vote.

The changes apply to UK Parliament elections, including by-elections and recall petitions.

Find out more about voting if you live overseas

Making voters aware of changes to postal and proxy voting

Making voters aware of changes to postal and proxy voting

Organisations working directly with voters, including local authorities and charities, can help make sure voters are aware of recent changes to postal and proxy voting.

We have produced a range of resources to help local authorities, Electoral Registration Officers and other partners communicate these changes to voters.

These include resources tailored for use in England, Scotland and Wales.

Explore our resources for partners, charities and civil society organisations

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