Apply to vote by post

Voting by post is a convenient and secure way of voting, especially if you are unable to go to your polling station.

Any registered voter can apply for a postal vote and you do not need to give a reason for wanting to vote by post.

Who can vote by post

You must be registered to vote before you can receive a postal vote. Anyone can request a postal vote. There are no special circumstances needed. A postal vote is available on demand.

This request can be for a:

  • maximum of 3 years
  • particular election only or
  • specific period only

You do not need to give a reason for asking but you must make an online or written application.

Apply for a postal vote

Due to a change in legislation, the way you apply for a postal vote has changed. Postal votes can now be applied for online.

For those who cannot apply online, paper forms are available if required. Please contact Electoral Services if you need a form sent to you on 020 8359 5577 or email

A signature, date of birth and your National Insurance number will need to be provided.

Further information can be found on the Electoral Commission website.

Where you can receive the postal vote

You can have the postal vote sent wherever you decide.

If you want your ballot paper to be sent to a different address from where you're registered to vote, you have to tell us the reason why you want to do this.

We advise students to only request a postal vote to be sent to their university address for the actual period they will be at that particular residence. This will ensure postal vote packs are not missed for future elections when they have changed student accommodation.

We can refuse to send your ballot paper to the address you request if we are not satisfied with the reason given. We will tell you if this is the case.

If your postal vote does not arrive

You will receive your postal ballot pack a few weeks before the election. This gives you longer to complete your ballot papers.

Phone Electoral Services on 020 8359 5577 or email if you do not get your postal ballot pack.

What to do when you get your postal vote

You will complete your ballot papers as normal.

Instructions on which envelope to use for ballot paper will be in your postal ballot pack.

Put your date of birth and signature where it is asked for. This is used to identify that you have filled in the ballot papers.

If there are a few of you in the household with postal votes, please make sure you complete your own form (your name will be on the paperwork).

Protect your postal vote from fraud 

When voting by post, you should mark your vote on the ballot paper in secret and seal the envelope yourself.

You will be asked to give your date of birth and signature when applying for a postal or proxy vote. When you return your postal voting pack you will again be asked for your signature and date of birth, and these will be checked against those you have already provided to confirm your identity.

Your signature and date of birth are separated from your ballot paper before it is looked at or counted, so giving this information will not affect the secrecy of your vote.

When we need your postal vote sent back

Your postal vote must be received back by 10pm on Polling Day.