Changes to postal and proxy voting

Postal voting  

  • You will need to renew your postal vote every 3 years by resubmitting a postal vote application
  • There will be a limit on the number of postal vote packs that you can hand in at a polling station. You will be allowed to take your own, and up to five others
  • Political parties and campaigners will be banned from handling postal vote packs on behalf of electors
  • When you apply for a postal vote you will need to provide proof of your identity. Both online and paper applications will require ID verification
  • You can apply for a postal vote online

Find out more about voting by post.

When do the changes come into force? 

  • The process for a three yearly postal vote application began in October 2023 but if you currently have a postal vote in place you do not need to reapply
  • Online absent voting applications came into force on 31 October 2023
  • The rules of secrecy and who can handle postal votes are expected to in place for elections in May 2024

Proxy voting

There will be a limit to how many people a voter can act as a proxy for. Currently, a person can act as a proxy for an unlimited number of close relatives and two other people. Under the new rules, voters would be limited to acting as a proxy for two people, regardless of their relationship. Anyone voting on behalf of UK voters who live overseas could act as a proxy for up to four people. Find out more about proxy voting.

When do the changes come into force? 

The changes to proxy voting came into force on 31 October 2023.