What is proxy voting and who can apply?
A proxy vote is where you can appoint someone to vote on your behalf (proxy) either at your polling station or by post (postal proxy). If you want to appoint a proxy you'll need to provide a reason why, for example you're away on holiday or in hospital.
If you've appointed a proxy but then find you're able to attend at the polling station in person, you can do so providing your proxy has not already voted on your behalf.
How do I apply for a proxy vote?
If you're registered to vote, you can apply to vote by proxy.
Find out how to register to vote.
You can apply for a proxy vote anytime throughout the year or no later than 6 working day before polling day.
Please return your completed application by post to 'Electoral Services Unit, Floor 2, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale OL16 1XU', by email to
firstname.lastname@example.org or hand it in at Number One Riverside reception desk.
- Application to vote by proxy for a British citizen living overseas - you can use this form to apply to vote by proxy if you are a British citizen living overseas. You can apply to vote by proxy for a particular election or referendum, for a set period of time or for all future elections or referendums.
- Application to vote by emergency proxy based on disability - if you've had a medical emergency that took place after 5pm, on the 6th working day before the poll which means that you cannot vote in person at your polling station, you can apply to vote by emergency proxy (someone else voting on your behalf). You can apply until 5pm on the day of the poll.
- Application to vote by emergency proxy based on occupation, service or employment - If you're 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 6th working day before the poll, you can apply to vote by emergency proxy (someone else voting on your behalf). You can apply up until 5pm on the day of the poll.
Frequently asked questions
Who can be my proxy? This person must be legally entitled and willing to vote for you and can be a family member, friend, neighbour or anyone else that you can trust to cast your vote correctly. A person can only act as a proxy for two people at each election to whom they are not related and/or any number of close relatives.
Are there different types of proxy voting? Yes, you can apply for a permanent proxy vote which is only available to certain people on the grounds of health, employment or full time education commitments. The form may need to be supported by a suitably qualified person as listed in the notes supplied with the form.
You can also apply for a proxy vote for a particular election. This type of proxy vote is available for any reason and you do not need supporting by a qualified person.
At the time of an election, if you're suddenly physically incapacitated, there's a sudden work related reason or taken ill after 5pm on the sixth working day before the election, you can apply for an emergency proxy vote up until 5pm on polling day.
Will you send details to my proxy? Yes, once your application has been accepted a letter will be sent to your proxy to confirm the arrangement.
What if my proxy is unable to attend at my polling station? They can apply to have your ballot paper sent to them. This would then become a postal proxy. On the application form they'll have to provide their date of birth and signature. At the time of an election there would be a deadline to receive a completed application form for this facility.
How will my proxy know when and how to vote for me? Your proxy will be sent details on how to cast your vote about 6 days before the day of election.