Postal and Proxy Voting

Postal and Proxy Voting

If you are not able to go to the polling station in person on election day, you can apply to vote by post or by proxy (where someone votes on your behalf).

Voting by post

Voting by post is an easy and convenient way of voting if you are unable to get to the polling station.

To vote by post, you’ll need to fill in an application form, they available from the Electoral Registration Officer, Town Hall, Lytham St Annes, FY8 1LW. Telephone: 01253 658542/658549. Email: electoral@fylde.gov.uk

The application forms are also available for download from https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/how-do-i-vote

You need to sign your application form personally because the electoral registration office needs a copy of your signature for voting security reasons. We know it’s slightly less convenient than submitting it on-line, but it helps to ensure the security of your vote and is used to tackle electoral fraud.

Who can apply for a postal vote?

Anyone aged 18 or over can apply for a postal vote. You do not need a reason to vote by post.
Where can I get my postal vote sent?

A postal vote can be sent to your home address or to any other address that you give. Postal votes can be sent overseas, but you need to consider whether there will be enough time to receive and return your ballot paper by election day.

When will I receive my ballot papers?

Postal votes are usually sent out about a week before election day. Once you’ve got it, mark your vote on the ballot paper and make sure you send it back so that it arrives by close of poll (which is 10pm on election day). If it arrives later than this your vote won’t be counted.

When you get your postal voting papers:

  • Put them somewhere safe.
  • Don't let anyone else handle them.
  • Make sure they are not left where someone else can pick them up.

When you want to vote:

  • Complete your ballot paper in secret, on your own
  • Don't let anyone else vote for you
  • Don't let anyone else see your vote
  • Don't give the ballot paper to anyone else
  • Put the ballot paper in the envelope and seal it up yourself
  • Complete and sign the postal voting statement.
  • Put the postal voting statement and the envelope containing your ballot paper into the larger envelope and seal it.

When you return your postal vote:

  • Take it to the post box yourself, if you can
  • If you can't do that, either give it to somebody you know and trust to post it for you, or ring your local electoral registration office for further advice.
  • Don't hand it to a candidate or party worker unless no other way is practical
  • Don't leave it where someone else can pick it up

Remember that this is your vote - so keep it to yourself

If anyone tries to help you against your will, or force you to give them your postal vote, you should contact the police. If you have any other queries, ring The Electoral Registration Officer on 01253 658549/658542.

Voting by Proxy

Voting by proxy is a convenient way of voting if you are unable to get to the polling station. By proxy just means that you appoint someone you trust to vote on your behalf.

Voting by proxy can be useful if you fall ill and are unable to get to the polling station on election day, or if you are abroad during an election. It can be particularly useful if you are overseas in a country too far away to send back a postal vote in time for the election (for instance, if you are in the Armed Forces and deployed overseas).

To vote by proxy, you’ll need to fill in an application form you can access this from the The Electoral Registration Officer, Town Hall, Lytham St Annes, FY8 1LW. Telephone 01253 658542/658549.

You need to sign your application form personally because the electoral registration office needs a copy of your signature for voting security reasons. We know it’s slightly less convenient than submitting it on-line, but it helps to ensure the security of your vote and is used to tackle electoral fraud.

Can I apply for a proxy vote?

You can apply for a proxy vote as long as you are on the electoral register. When you apply for a proxy vote you have to provide a reason. You can apply for a proxy vote if:

You are unable to go to the polling station for one particular election, for example, if you are away on holiday
You have a physical condition that means you cannot go to the polling station on election day
Your employment means that you cannot go to the polling station on election day
Your attendance on an educational course means that you cannot go to the polling station on election day
You are a British citizen living overseas
You are a crown servant or a member of Her Majesty's Armed Forces

Except if you are registered blind, you may have to get someone to support your application to confirm that your reason for applying to vote by proxy is valid. Read the notes that accompany the application form to find out if you need to get someone to support your application and who can do it.

When can I apply to vote by proxy?

The deadline for applying to vote by proxy is normally 6 working days before an election. However, if you have a medical emergency 6 days before election day or after, you can apply to vote by emergency proxy if the emergency means that you cannot go to the polling station in person.

Who can vote on my behalf?

Anyone can be your proxy as long as they are eligible to vote in the election and they are willing to vote on your behalf.

You cannot be a proxy for more than two people at any one election, unless they are a close relative.