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Vote by post

How to apply to vote by post

From 31 October 2023, you must apply for your postal vote online through the new government portal.

You will also need to provide your National Insurance number as part of the application process.

If you have recently moved house or changed your name, you need to contact us to make changes on the electoral register (if you have not already) and then re-apply for a new postal vote.

You must ensure that the date of birth and signature that you provide on your application is correct, as you will need to supply this information each time you vote by post.

Elections Act changes

In addition to the online portal, the following changes have now taken effect as a result of the Elections Act 2022:

  • Postal voters must reapply to vote by post every 3 years.
  • Political Parties and Campaigners are banned from handling postal votes.
  • The number of postal packs a person can hand in has been limited to 5 plus their own. They will also need completed a form when handing in postal packs.
  • Wherever possible, postal packs must be sent back using a Royal Mail postbox. If a pack is handed in to a polling station, the person handing it in must adhere to the limit above and complete a postal vote handling form, or the postal pack(s) will be rejected.

If you want to vote by post in an upcoming election we recommend that you complete an application as early as possible. Your completed application must reach us by 5pm, 11 working days before polling day.

How postal voting works

We send postal voting forms to all registered postal voters approximately two weeks before polling day.

Your postal vote pack will contain an instruction leaflet, two envelopes (A and B), your ballot paper(s) and a Postal Voting Statement.

Complete the forms according to the instruction leaflet.

You will then need to put your completed ballot paper(s) in Envelope A (the brown envelope), and return your Postal Voting Statement and Envelope A to us in Envelope B (the white envelope) before 10pm on polling day. We cannot accept any postal votes we receive after this time.

We strongly recommend that you return your postal pack by posting it in a Royal Mail postbox.

If you are unable to return your postal vote by mail, you can hand in your completed and sealed postal vote pack directly to a polling station in your area. You will need to complete a postal vote handling form when doing this or your postal pack will be rejected.

If you have not received your postal vote five days before an election, you will need to contact the Elections team to request a replacement. Replacements for lost postal packs cannot be issued any earlier than this point.

Can I vote by post as a proxy?

If you have been appointed as a proxy and want to vote by post, you must apply for a postal proxy vote by the postal vote deadline (5pm, 11 working days before polling day).

You should ensure that the person you are acting as proxy for has submitted their proxy application and it has been approved before sending us your postal proxy request.

You can download an application form here.

What if I cannot provide a consistent signature?

If you are unable to provide a consistent signature due to an illness or disability, you may be eligible to apply for a waiver. Please contact the Elections team for further information.

How do I cancel my postal vote?

If you want to cancel your postal vote then you should contact us in writing (by email or letter) to request this. To cancel your postal vote for a specific election, you must contact us before 5pm, 11 working days before the election.

If you have already returned your completed postal vote, then you will not be able to cancel it for that election.

Contact us - Electoral services

01235 422600
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)

Vale of White Horse District Council
Abbey House
Abbey Close
OX14 3JE