If you are already registered to vote at your current address, you can apply to vote by post instead of at a polling station. You can apply at any time and don't need to wait for an election to be called.
2023 May elections
If you want to vote by post in the May 2023 elections, you must first make sure you are registered to vote.
You will only need to register if you have recently moved address, changed your name or recently turned 18 years old.
If you aren't registered to vote, the deadline for registering for the May elections is 11.59pm on Monday 17 April 2023. Find out more and register to vote online.
Once registered, or if you are already registered, you will then need to apply to vote by post no later than 5pm on Tuesday 18 April 2023.
Apply to vote by post
You will not need to provide photo ID to vote by post. You will however be asked to provide a signature specimen and your date of birth - these will be stored securely. Each time you vote by post, your signature will then be checked against the specimen you provided. If you are unable to sign in a consistent or distinctive way, perhaps because of a disability, you may be granted an exemption, called a waiver.
If you miss the deadline to vote by post, and can't access a polling station to vote in person, an alternative is to apply to vote by proxy, which is where you appoint someone else to vote on your behalf. The deadline for new proxy applications for the May elections is 5pm on 25 April 2023. Your proxy will need to show photo ID at the polling station.
What happens when you have submitted your application
Once you have applied, your ballot paper(s) will be sent to the address specified in your application as follows:
- If your application to vote by post is approved before Wednesday 5 April, your ballot paper pack will be sent to you by first class post on Monday 17 April.
- If your application to vote by post is approved between Wednesday 5 April and 5pm on Tuesday 18 April, your ballot paper pack will be sent to you by first class post on Tuesday 25 April.
Priority post boxes
Royal Mail has 35,000 priority post boxes, these boxes have late collection times, with 98% of them having a collection time of after 4pm. In many cases these priority post boxes will also have an earlier collection as well. Of the 35,000 priority post boxes 15,000 of them also have a collection between 3pm and 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Check on the Royal Mail website to find your nearest priority post box.