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Postal vote deadline

The deadline to apply for a postal vote for the elections on Thursday 2 May is 5pm on Wednesday 17 April. You must also be registered to vote by 11:59pm on Tuesday 16 April.

Elections Act changes

There are changes to voting by post. You can apply online to vote by post and need to prove your identity when applying. You also need to reapply for a postal vote every three years. Find out more

The changes apply to:

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

If you have a long-term postal vote that you applied for before 31 October 2023, this will now expire on 31 January 2026. The electoral services team at your local council will contact you before your postal vote expires.

Elections Act changes

There are changes to voting by post. You can apply online to vote by post and need to prove your identity when applying. You also need to reapply for a postal vote every three years. Find out more

The changes apply to: 

  • UK Parliament elections, including by-elections and recall petitions
  • Police and Crime Commissioner elections 

If you have a long-term postal vote for UK Parliament elections that you applied for before 31 October 2023, this will now expire on 31 January 2026. The electoral services team at your local council will contact you before your postal vote expires.

Elections Act changes

There are changes to voting by post. You can apply online to vote by post and need to prove your identity when applying. You also need to reapply for a postal vote every three years. Find out more

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

If you have a long-term postal vote for UK Parliament elections that you applied for before 31 October 2023, this will now expire on 31 January 2026. Your local electoral registration office will contact you before your postal vote expires.

Elections Act changes

There are changes to voting by post. You can apply online to vote by post and need to prove your identity when applying. You also need to reapply for a postal vote every three years. Find out more

The changes apply to UK Parliament general elections, by-elections and recall petitions in England, Scotland and Wales.

If you live overseas and have previously applied for a long-term postal vote, this will now expire at the same time as your Overseas Electors Declaration. You will then need to reapply for a postal vote.

Handing in postal votes at a polling station

Handing in postal votes at a polling station

From 2 May, you will be only able to hand in your own postal vote, and the postal votes of up to five other people, at a polling station.

Campaigners can only hand in their own postal vote, and postal votes for up to five other people that are either close relatives, or someone they provide regular care for.

Handing in postal votes at a polling station

Handing in postal votes at a polling station

UK Parliament elections

From 2 May, you will be only able to hand in your own postal vote, and the postal votes of up to five other people, at a polling station.

Campaigners can only hand in their own postal vote, and postal votes for up to five other people that are either close relatives, or someone they provide regular care for.

Handing in postal votes at a polling station

Handing in postal votes at a polling station

UK Parliament and Police and Crime Commissioner elections

From 2 May, you will be only able to hand in your own postal vote, and the postal votes of up to five other people, at a polling station.

Campaigners can only hand in their own postal vote, and postal votes for up to five other people that are either close relatives, or someone they provide regular care for.

Campaigners handling postal votes

Campaigners handling postal votes

From 2 May, it will be an offence for a campaigner to handle another person’s postal vote. Campaigners should encourage voters to post their completed postal ballots as early as possible.

Postal votes cannot be accepted at polling stations.

Postal ballots papers

Postal ballot papers are viewed differently in electoral law to ballot papers in a polling station, so voters can take a photo of their own postal ballot paper and publicise it (including on social media) if they want to.

It is the personal choice of the voter whether they decide to take a photo of their postal ballot paper and share it. It is an offence to persuade or induce another person to share a photo of their postal ballot paper.

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