Voting by post

You must be aged 18 or over on polling day to vote at an election or referendum. Ordinarily, those eligible to vote, do so in person at a polling station, but there may be a reason that you cannot do so. In those instances, you can make your vote through the post and have your ballot paper sent to your home or another specified address.

You must be registered on the Electoral Register in order to vote by post. If you are not yet registered, you can apply now online at register to vote

Apply for a postal vote

If you would like to vote by post, the easiest way is to apply online.

Apply for a postal vote online

Alternatively, you can download, print and complete a postal vote application form.

As part of the measures introduced by the Elections Act 2022, you will now need to provide:

  • your date of birth
  • your National Insurance number

This will then need to be verified against Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) records. If you are unable to provide your national insurance number, or the details do not match, you will be contacted to provide documentary evidence and/or an attestation to support your application.

Your application will also ask you to provide a specimen signature. Your signature and date of birth are securely stored to be compared when you complete your postal voting statement.

  • the image of your signature must be clear
  • there should be no shadows over the signature

If you cannot provide a signature

If you are unable to sign in a consistent or distinctive way, for example:

  • because of a disability
  • unable to read or write

You may be granted a Waiver, which will mean you will not be required to provide a signature. (Your date of birth and National Insurance number are still required). This can be done online or please contact Electoral Services for further information.

It is illegal to sign the application on behalf of anyone else.

An application for a postal vote, or notification to change or cancel one, must be received by the Electoral services office by 5pm on the eleventh working day before an election.

When will I receive by postal vote?

Due to the deadline for nominations and the specialist printing required, postal votes are normally dispatched, by first class post, between 7 and 10 days before polling day. Please check with the Electoral Services team for exact dates.

Returning your completed postal voting pack

Your postal vote pack will be delivered to the address specified on your application.

In addition to casting your vote on the ballot paper(s) you must provide your signature (unless a signature waiver has been granted) and date of birth on the postal voting statement. This is then checked against the personal identifiers on your application to ensure your vote remains secure.

Your completed postal voting pack needs to be back to us by close of poll on polling day.

You can return your postal voting pack by:

  • posting it, using the pre-paid envelope provided (as soon as you receive it and no later than 10pm on polling day)
  • hand deliver at a polling station
  • hand deliver to London Borough of Bexley, Civic Offices, Electoral Services, 2 Watling Street, DA6 7AT

Please note if you hand deliver your postal vote to the Civic Offices or a polling station you will need to complete a further declaration form.

All postal voting packs must be received by 10pm on polling day to be included in the count.

Lost or spoilt postal votes

If you have not received, or have lost or spoilt your postal vote, please contact the Electoral Services team.

We can re-issue a postal vote to the elector, either via post to the address stated on the application or in person, subject to the elector coming in person to the Electoral Services office. You will need to provide photographic identification i.e. passport or driving licence, and proof of address i.e. bank statement or utility bill.

The first day we can re-issue replacement postal votes is five working days before an election, and this can be carried out until 5pm on polling day.

Proxy voting

Instead of voting at your designated Polling Station on the day of the poll, you can apply for someone to vote on your behalf as a proxy. You can apply for a proxy vote for a particular election or a longer period under certain conditions and if is attested by the relevant person.

How do I apply for a proxy vote?

If you need to apply to vote by proxy for a specific election, the easiest way is online.

Apply for a proxy vote

Alternatively, or if you wish to vote by proxy for a longer period, you need to complete the relevant paper form.

The person you wish to appoint as your proxy can only act as proxy if they are 18 years old or over and registered to vote in the election. The person cannot be a proxy for more than four people (two domestic and two overseas electors.

An application for a proxy vote must be received by the Electoral Services office by 5pm on the sixth working day before an election.

When you appoint a proxy, they will need to be able to attend your designated Polling station to be able to vote on your behalf. If they are unable to attend your polling station, for example, if your proxy lives in a different area, they can apply to cast your proxy vote by post.

The application for a proxy vote and the application from the person you appoint to cast the proxy vote by post must be received by the Electoral Services office by 5pm on the eleventh working day before an election. Please contact us if you wish to vote in this way.

If you wish to cancel your proxy vote (or proxy vote by post) we must receive notification of this by 5pm on the eleventh working day before an election.

How does my proxy vote on my behalf?

Your proxy should receive a proxy poll card. However, they do not need this to vote on your behalf. They need to tell the polling station staff the name and address of the elector they are acting as proxy for. They will need to take an accepted form of ID to be able to vote (they do not need to take your ID). If they do not have a valid form of ID, they can apply for a voter authority certificate.

An elector can still vote in person if they get to the polling station before the proxy.