How to vote: A guide to postal, proxy and in-person voting

Postal voting papers for the UK general election
Postal voting papers for the UK general election

Britain will go to the polls for the general election on July 4, although voters are not required to attend a polling station in person to have their say.

Instead, they can select their candidate by post provided they have registered to do before the deadline.

This can be done if you will not be able to attend a polling station on polling day or if it is more convenient for you.

How do I apply for a postal vote?

To apply for a postal vote for the general election, voters in England, Wales and Scotland must use the Government’s online application system.

What documentation do I need? 

You need to be registered to vote already and will be asked for your date of birth, postcode and national insurance number or passport number.

Voters must also provide a sample of their signature by taking a photo and uploading it.

In Northern Ireland, people wanting to vote by post have to fill out a form and send it to the electoral office in Belfast. These forms can be found online here.

Who is eligible for a postal vote?

Anyone can apply for a postal vote.

Voters in Northern Ireland are required to give a reason when they apply.

When is the deadline to apply?

The deadline for Northern Ireland is 5pm on Saturday June 15.

However, the deadline for applications in England, Wales and Scotland is 5pm on Wednesday June 19. You must also be registered to vote by 11:59pm on Tuesday June 18.

When are postal votes sent out?

Postal votes are usually sent out after the deadline to become a candidate has passed. This is when ballot papers are produced and printed, approximately three weeks before polling day.

Your local Electoral Registration Office will contact you about your application before your postal voting pack is sent.

How do I cast my postal vote?

Once you have applied for a postal vote, you will be sent a postal vote form.

All the necessary information on how to correctly select a candidate and send in your vote are provided on the form.

It is advised that postal voters fill out their forms and send them via post as soon as they can.

Alternatively, voters can take their completed forms to a local polling station and deliver them by hand before the polls close at 10pm on polling day.