Did you know that if you are unable to make it to your polling station temporarily or permanently that you can vote by post or have someone vote on your behalf?

To vote by post or proxy you simply need to state why you cannot vote in person.

As there is no upcoming election you can only apply for a permanent postal or proxy vote at the minute.

You are required to provide a reason as to why you cannot be expected to go to the polling station. In most cases the application will need to be attested, where someone agrees that the information you have provided is accurate.

What is the difference between postal and proxy?

Postal 

if you wish to vote by post the ballot paper will be poster to you before polling day and you cast your vote. You then post, or hand deliver the ballot paper back to the electoral office before the deadline (10pm on polling day).

Postal votes can only be issued to an address within the UK and they must be returned to the electoral office.

Proxy 

A proxy is someone who you appoint to vote on your behalf. A proxy must be

  • at least 18 years of age on polling day
  • a British, Irish, European Union or Commonwealth citizen
  • not subject to any legal incapacity to vote

A proxy may only vote on behalf of two electors to whom the are not related.

There is no restriction on the number for whom a proxy may vote if they are related.

The proxy does not need to be listed on the electoral register, but they will be asked by the polling staff to show one of the specified forms of identification.

If you change your mind and decide to vote yourself you can do so as long as you arrive at the polling station before your proxy.

What entitles me to a permanent postal or proxy vote?

To be eligible for a permanent postal/proxy vote you must demonstrate that you cannot reasonably be expected to go to your polling station or vote due to:

  • Disability
  • Employment (or that of your spouse/civil partner)
  • Education (or that of your spouse/civil partner)

If you move address you will lose your permanent postal/proxy vote and will have to apply for a new one.

Temporary postal or proxy voting 

A temporary postal/proxy vote only applies to one election. The application can only be made in the period before the election and the deadline will be 5.00pm on the fourteenth working day before the election.

To be eligible for a temporary postal/proxy vote you must demonstrate that you cannot reasonably be expected to go to your polling station on polling day for a short term reason. This may be due to:

  • Holiday
  • Short term illness
  • Attendance at an important event
  • Work commitments

What information do I need to provide on the application form?

Personal details

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance Number
  • Signature

Reason for the application

You must provide a reason why you cannot reasonably be expected to vote in person at your polling place on polling day. You  must provide exact dates and locations (if applicable) or the application may be rejected on the grounds that not enough detail about the reason has been provided.

If you will not be at home between the date postal votes are issued and polling day, you should appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf.

Attestation

Most applications need to be attested (where another person confirms that the information provided on the application form is correct). The exception to this is certain applications for a permanent postal/proxy vote on the grounds of disability.

If the form is not properly attested the application will be rejected.

Postal/proxy vote details

If applying for a postal vote you must provide the address it is to be sent to (if different from the address you are registered at). If it is to be sent to a different address you must provide a reason for this. The address must be within the UK – postal votes cannot be sent abroad.

If applying for a proxy vote you must provide the name and address of the proxy and their relationship to you (if any). A person can only be the proxy for close relatives and up to two other people at the same election, so this part of the form is included to ensure this condition is met.

Application Forms

Assistance

If you require assistance in applying for a postal or proxy vote please contact one of our Councillors or find us on social media:

Councillors: 

  • Cllr Bert Wilson – 078 7654 5201
  • Cllr Allan Rainey MBE – 077 1110 8531
  • Cllr Chris Smyth – 079 3923 6238
  • Alderman Derek Hussey – 077 7424 6223

Social Media

Information gathered from The Electoral Office for Northern Ireland (14th April 2017)

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