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Postal voting

If you can't vote in person, one option is to cast your vote by post. It is an easy and convenient way of voting if you are unable to get to the polling station.

Apply for a postal vote

If you would like to apply for a postal vote, you can apply to vote by post

On the application form you are required to provide your date of birth and your signature. These will be used to verify your ballot paper when you return it, so please ensure they are both correct before returning your application form.  You can scan and email your application to

What is the Absent Voter Refresh?

It is a legal requirement for postal voters to refresh their signature every 5 years (Section 60A of the Representation of the People Regulations). We undertake this request in January every year.

We contact relevant postal voters by letter and ask that the form is completed with a current signature. The form also gives you the option to tell us that you are now longer able to sign. Each letter contains an envelope in which the completed form should be returned to an address in London.  

What should I do with the form?

Please read the guidance notes carefully. We require you to provide us with your current signature which should be written in the box on the form. We also ask that you give us your date of birth but this information is optional. The please return the form in the envelope enclosed.

If you are now unable to provide a signature due to illness or disability you (or your helper) should place a tick in the second box down on the left side of the form.  The please return the form in the envelope enclosed.

If you no longer wish to vote by post you should place a tick in the first box on the left hand side of the form and return it in the envelope enclosed.

If we have not received the form back by the date stated on the letter we will remove your postal vote. You would then have to cast your vote in person in the polling station, OR make a new application.

When will I receive my ballot papers?

Postal ballots can only be sent out once the deadline to become a candidate has passed and the ballot papers have subsequently been produced and printed this is usually from 5-11 days prior to the date of the election.

When do I need to return my postal vote by?

One you've got it, mark your vote on the ballot paper and make sure you send it back as soon possible so that it arrives by 10pm on election day. If it arrives later than this, your vote won't be counted.

If you're not able to send it back by post in advance you can hand your postal vote in at your local council on the day or you can also drop it off at any polling station in your Ward on election day.

How to vote by post

1. 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

2. 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 supplied envelope and seal it.

3. When you return your postal vote

  • Take it to the post box yourself, if you can
  • If you can't do that, give it to somebody you know and trust to post it for you
  • 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

Do I need to apply again if I have changed address?

Yes. If you change address, you will need to make a new application to vote by post or proxy - your voting preference will not be carried forward to your new address.

Remember that this is your vote - so keep it for yourself!


Electoral Services

Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm (excluding bank holidays)


Tel: 024 7683 3034

Fax: 024 7683 3204

Council House
Earl Street

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