What to do if you can’t get to a polling station on general election day

-Credit: (Image: James Beck/BristolLive)
-Credit: (Image: James Beck/BristolLive)


If you can’t get to a polling station to cast your ballot in the general election on July 4, there are two alternative options. Voters can apply to cast their ballot in the post, or send somebody else to a polling station on their behalf.

The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on Wednesday, June 19, while the deadline to apply for a proxy vote is 5pm on Wednesday, June 26. The deadline to register to vote for the general election is Tuesday, June 18. Applications can be made on the government’s website.

Proxy voting means getting someone else to vote on your behalf, like a friend or relative. Your proxy must be registered to vote, and can’t vote on behalf of two or more people living in the UK. A poll card is sent to the proxy with details of how and where to vote.

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After the deadline, you might still be able to apply for an emergency proxy vote. This includes if you can’t vote in person due to a medical emergency or disability, or your employment. This includes if your photo ID has been lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, and you’ve not yet received a new or replacement photo ID.

Applications for an emergency proxy vote can be made up to 5pm on polling day. Voters have to fill in a paper form available on the council’s website, and email it to proxyvotes@bristol.gov.uk, or deliver it by person or in post to the electoral services team at the B Bond Warehouse on Smeaton Road.

Anybody who is registered to vote can apply for a postal vote. Ballot papers are sent out about two weeks before the election.

Voters heading to polling stations now need to bring photo identification with them, like a passport or driving licence. Anybody without a valid form of ID can apply for a free “voter authority certificate” instead, and the deadline for this is Wednesday, June 26.