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Voting by proxy at elections


Changes to proxy voting came into force on 31 October 2023. These include:

  • You can now apply online for some types of proxy vote
  • Your identity will be checked as part of the application process. Both online and paper application will require ID verification (except for emergency proxy votes). 
  • There is now a limit to the amount of people someone can be a proxy for. You can act as a proxy for two people. If you vote on behalf of UK voters who live overseas, you can act as a proxy for up to four people (but only two of those can live in the UK).

Asking a trusted person to vote on your behalf

If you aren't able to cast your vote in person, you can ask someone you trust to cast your vote for you. This is called a proxy vote and the person casting your vote is often referred to as your proxy. The person voting on your behalf can either go to your polling station to cast your vote, or can apply to vote for you by post.

Who can be your proxy

Someone can be your proxy if they are:

  • 18 or over
  • registered to vote
  • able to get to your polling station on polling day
  • eligible to vote in the election

Your proxy does not have to be related to you. The number of people a person can act as proxy for is limited to four, of which no more than two can be ‘domestic’ electors (i.e. electors who are not overseas or service electors).

A new digital service allows electors to apply online via GOV.​UK for a proxy vote. If you wish to apply for a proxy vote please use this online application route. It is simple to use and more efficient.

Alternatively, you can download the form from the Electoral Commission website.

When you have completed it, please return to the elections team, Wyre Forest House, Finepoint Way, Kidderminster, DY11 7WF or alternatively email a scanned copy (this must not be a photograph as this will not be accepted) to

Proxy for a particular election only

Proxy voting is available to anyone who is unable to attend their polling station on polling day. It is possible for anyone to apply for a proxy vote at a particular election, as long as they provide a reason why they are not able to vote in person themselves on the day of the election.

Permanent or long-term proxy

It is possible to appoint a proxy permanently, but only in certain circumstances. You may also need to get your application signed, or provide further information in order for your application to be approved. Please find listed below the reasons for obtaining a permanent proxy vote, and the supporting evidence required:

  • Registered Blind or recipient of Higher Disability Living Allowance; you must state the council with which you are registered blind or declare that you receive the higher rate of allowance
  • Physical Incapacity; you must have your application form supported by a registered medical practitioner, registered nurse or Christian Science practitioner, provided that person is giving you treatment or care. If you are in a residential home or sheltered housing, then the head of home or warden can support your application (but not a care assistant).
  • Employment reasons; your employer must sign your application. If you are self-employed, please indicate this on the form, if you are self-employed, then your application must be supported by someone who is 18 or over, knows your circumstances, and is not related to you.
  • Attendance on a course; each college and higher education institution will have appointed an officer to support applications on these grounds. Check with your college who this person is.

In line with the Register to Vote process, a check of an applicant’s National Insurance Number (or other relevant data) will now also be made for all absent vote applications. Electors with an existing proxy arrangement will have time to make the adjustment and reapply under the new rules, and they will be contacted when they need to take action.

Emergency proxy

In certain circumstances, where you have an emergency that means you can't vote in person, you can apply for an emergency proxy. This must be something that you weren't aware of before the normal proxy vote deadline such as;

These applications can be made up to 5pm on polling day.

Postal proxy

The deadline to apply for a postal proxy vote is 5pm, 11 working days before the poll.

If you have been appointed by an elector as their proxy then you can vote by post on their behalf. This means that instead of going to vote at the elector's local polling station, you can ask us to send the ballot paper to your home address, or an address of your choice in the UK. You then post your vote back to us. Ballot papers are usually posted out on the 10th and 5th working days before an election. If you have been appointed as a proxy you can apply to vote by post at any time.

All ballot papers must reach us before polling stations close on election day; either at the electoral services office or at a polling station in the electoral area. Ballot papers received after this time cannot be counted. If you have a postal proxy vote, you cannot change your mind and vote at the elector's polling station on election day.

There are deadlines for receipt of applications in respect of particular elections. These deadlines are set out in the Notice of Election. Copies of this Notice for forthcoming elections are displayed within the electoral area and at the Council's main offices.

All applications must be signed and dated by the applicant.

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