A ‘proxy’ is someone who is appointed by you to vote on your behalf at an election, so to vote by proxy you must first find someone who is willing to attend your polling station and cast your vote on your behalf. Only electors who are registered individually are entitled to apply to vote by proxy.
You can find more information about applying to vote by proxy online.
Types of proxy voting
There are two types of proxy voting:
- Permanent proxy voting - Permanent proxy voting is only available to registered electors on the grounds of health, employment or full time education commitments. Please contact Electoral Services to request a copy of the appropriate application form. This form may need to be supported by a suitably qualified person, in accordance with the notes printed on the form.
- Temporary proxy voting - Temporary proxy voting is available to any registered elector for any reason. Applications are made for a specific election and do not need to be supported by anyone. Please contact Electoral Services to request the appropriate application form.
A proxy must be at least 18 years old and not disqualified to vote in his or her own right. For a General Election, the proxy must be a British, Commonwealth or Irish citizen. For Local Government or European Parliamentary Elections, he or she may be a citizen of the European Union. The person you wish to appoint as your proxy can only act as proxy if they are registered individually. If you and/or the person you wish to appoint as your proxy are not yet individually registered, you can now apply to vote online.
No one may act as a proxy for more than two people at the same election, unless he or she is the spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild of the voter.
If you appoint a proxy and then have a change of plans, you may still vote in person at your polling station - providing you do so before the proxy has voted on your behalf!
Emergency proxy voting
If you have a medical emergency six working days or less before the election, you can apply for an emergency proxy vote up until 5pm on polling day. Your application to vote by proxy must be supported by a doctor, registered state nurse, or Christian science practitioner, who must sign your application.
Occupation or employment reasons
If you are not able to attend the polling station in person for reasons relating to your occupation, service or employment, and you only become aware of this after 5pm on the sixth working day before an election, you can apply to vote by emergency proxy up until 5pm on election day.
If you are self-employed, your application must be supported by a person aged 18 years or over who knows you and is not your spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild.
If you are a member of the Armed Forces, a Crown servant, a British Council employee or the spouse or civil partner of one of the above and you are registered as a service voter, you do not need support for your application.
If you are registered as an ordinary elector, you will need support from your employer or another authorised person at your workplace.
Postal proxy voting
If your proxy cannot attend your polling station in person for any reason on the day of the election, they can apply to vote by post. To apply for a postal proxy, both the proxy and the elector will need to complete a form. Please note that if your proxy has been allocated a postal proxy you will not be able to vote at the polling station, even if your proxy has not yet voted.