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.
If you choose to vote by post, your ballot paper(s) will be sent to your registered address around ten days before election day, so it's important to make sure you'll have enough time to return your ballot paper(s) in time.
You may find it more practical to apply to vote by proxy, where you appoint someone else to vote on your behalf.
You will be asked to provide a signature specimen and your date of birth - these are stored securely.
Each time you vote by post, your signature will 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.
The deadline for receipt of new postal/postal proxy applications and changes/cancellations to existing postal or proxy votes is 20 April 2021 for the May 2021 elections.
The first batch of postal votes will be posted on 19 April 2021. Any postal votes received after 8 April 2021 will be posted on 26 April.
Apply to vote by post
Priority post boxes
Royal Mail has 35,000 priority post boxes, these boxes have late collection times, with 98% of the having a collection time of after 16.00.
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 15.00 and 17.00 on both Saturday and Sunday.
These priority post boxes were introduced to help with the collection and onward delivery of covid test kits, but as elections are also a priority mailing we would like you to be able to promote / offer voters the use of this enhanced collection service.
Check on the Royal Mail website to find your nearest priority post box.