About proxy voting

Voting by proxy is an easy way of voting if you are unable to get to the polling station.  'By proxy' means that you can appoint someone that 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, or if you are abroad during an election.  It can also be useful if you are overseas in a country too far away to send back a postal vote in time for the election, for example if you are in the Armed Forces or deployed abroad.

Apply for a proxy vote

You can apply for a proxy vote as long as you have registered. 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 are unable to go to the polling station on election day
  • you are attending an educational course on election day and unable to get to the polling station
  • you are a British Citizen living overseas
  • you are a crown servant or a member of Her Majesty's Armed Services

With the exception of being 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.  Please read the notes that come with the application form to find out who can support your application.

When to apply for a proxy vote

You should submit an application as soon as you become aware you will not be able to vote yourself. The deadline for applying to vote by proxy is normally 6 working days before an election or referendum.

Who can vote on my behalf?

Anyone can be your proxy as long as they are eligible to vote in the election and are registered to vote themselves. You cannot be a proxy for more than two people at any one election, unless you are a close relative.

Emergency proxy

If you find out after the deadline to apply for a proxy vote that you cannot  go to the polling station in person, then you may be able to apply for an emergency proxy. Each application will need to be supported by a relevant person.

Please read the guidance notes accompanying each form before you submit your application. You can apply for an emergency proxy vote up to 5pm on polling day.