Voting by proxy
You can request a proxy vote if you want someone else to vote on your behalf because you can't get to your polling station on polling day.
Proxy voting is where you appoint someone to go to the polling station and vote on your behalf. Your proxy is then intended to vote in the way you direct. Unlike postal voting, proxy voting other than for one election is restricted to certain categories of people.
The law is changing from 31 October 2023, there is a limit to the amount of people you can act as proxy for.
You will also be able to apply online for a proxy vote, except if your application form needs attesting by someone or if applying for an emergency proxy. Find out more out the changes to proxy voting.
As a proxy you will need to take and show at the polling station your photo voter ID before you are given a ballot paper for the elector.
You do NOT need to bring any photo ID for the elector.
Applying for a proxy vote
A proxy vote allows you to name someone to cast your vote for you (like a relative or close friend i.e. someone you trust to vote in accordance with your wishes).
To vote by proxy you need to complete an online application form via the GOV.UK website, this will be available from 31 October 2023, a link will be added here.
As a proxy, you will either have to either attend the polling station of the person you are voting for, or apply to vote by post, as the proxy. Around election time there are strict deadlines around this.
When you apply you have to provide a reason - such as if you are away on holiday or in hospital.
The deadline to vote by proxy in a specific election is 5pm, six working days before the election.
If you wish to change from a postal vote to a proxy vote, or to apply to vote by postal proxy, the deadline is 5pm, eleven working days before the election.
If you want to appoint a proxy to vote for you, they must be:
- willing to vote on your behalf
- a British citizen or citizen of the Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland; or for local government, a citizen of the European Union
- old enough to vote (aged 18 plus) and legally allowed to vote
- registered to vote
What if I want to vote by proxy at more than one election?
If you want a proxy vote for more than one election, you must have one of the following reasons:
- You have a physical disability
- You are away from home due to your job or you are on a course
- You have to travel by air or sea to get to your polling station
In all the above cases, except if you are registered blind, someone has to sign (attest) your application and say it is true, like your employer or doctor.
After you have applied
- The person voting for you must go to your polling station to vote. If they cannot get there they can apply for a postal vote - see Postal proxy below.
- They will be sent a proxy poll card telling them which polling station they have to go to.
- You must let them know who you want them to vote for.
- If you are able to get to the polling station, you can vote as long as they have not already voted for you or applied for a postal vote.
It's possible to appoint someone to vote for you by post. Such a person is called a postal proxy. The circumstances in which you can do so are as set out above. Applications must be made by 5pm, 11 working days before polling day.
If your application for a proxy vote is accepted, you can still vote in person at your polling station as long as you do so before your proxy votes for you. However if you appoint someone as a proxy to vote by post for you then you cannot vote in person.
You can apply using the GOV.UK website.
If you are not able to attend the polling station in person for reasons relating to your occupation, service, employment, medical emergency or where the elector's photo identification (including a Voter Authority Certificate) is lost, stolen or damaged beyond use. If you only become aware of this after 5pm, on the sixth working day before a poll, you can apply to vote by emergency proxy (someone else voting on your behalf). If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply up until 5pm on the day of the poll by completing the relevant form and returning to firstname.lastname@example.org.
► Find out more about how to vote on the Your Vote Matters website.
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