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Postal vote deadline

The deadline to apply for a postal vote for the UK Parliamentary general election on Thursday 4 July has now passed.

Find out how to apply to vote by post

Postal vote deadline

The deadline to apply for a postal vote for the UK Parliamentary general election on Thursday 4 July has now passed.

Find out how to apply to vote by post

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 about the change to postal voting.

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 about the change to postal voting.

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 about the change to postal voting.

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 about the change to postal voting.

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.

How to vote by post

Step one

When you receive your postal voting pack, check the contents carefully. Inside your pack, there should be:

  • instructions about how to cast your vote and how to return the postal vote
    a postal voting statement
  • envelope A for your completed ballot paper
  • return envelope B
  • the ballot paper or papers for the elections taking place

Step two

Complete the postal voting statement carefully following the instructions.

Step three

Read the instructions on the ballot paper carefully. Some elections use different voting systems, so you need to make sure you fill in each ballot paper correctly.

Step four

Complete your ballot paper. Make sure you do it alone and in secret. Don't write anything else on the paper, or your vote may not be counted.

Step five

Put your ballot paper in the smaller envelope marked A.

Step six

Put your postal voting statement and the ballot paper envelope into the return envelope marked B, and seal it. Make sure the return address is clear.

Step seven

Put your postal vote somewhere safe until you're ready to post it.

Handing in postal votes at a polling station

Handing in postal votes at a polling station

UK Parliament elections

You can only hand in your own postal vote, and the postal votes of up to five other people, at a polling station or to your local council. When handing in postal votes, you will need to complete a form. You will need to include your name and address, how many postal votes you are handing in and why you are handing in those postal votes.

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

You can only hand in your own postal vote, and the postal votes of up to five other people, at a polling station or to your local council. When handing in postal votes, you will need to complete a form. You will need to include your name and address, how many postal votes you are handing in and why you are handing in those postal votes.

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.

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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