Vote by post

If you can't get to your polling station for whatever reason, you can apply for a postal vote but you must be registered under individual electoral registration first.

A postal vote means you can cast your vote and post it back to the council without going to a polling station on election day.

You can apply for a postal vote for one particular election, for a specific period of time or for a maximum period of up to three years.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for a postal vote is online. You can now complete your application using the following link:

Apply for a postal vote

If you cannot register online, you can download a PDF application from the GOV.UK website, complete it and return it to us using the contact details below.

The deadline to apply for a postal vote in time for the upcoming UK General Election on 4 July 2024 has passed. The deadline to apply was 5pm on Wednesday 19 June 2024.

View an easy-read guide to how to vote by post

To register for a postal vote, you'll need

  • The address where you are registered to vote
  • The date of the next election or referendum (if you want a postal vote for one particular election)
  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • A photograph of your handwritten signature. Please see our guidelines for creating your signature photo

The deadline for the receipt of new postal vote applications or to change or cancel an existing postal vote application for all elections is 11 working days prior to polling day.

When you will receive your postal vote

If you choose to vote by post, your postal pack containing your ballot paper will be sent to you 1 - 2 weeks before polling day.

How to fill in your postal vote

When you receive your postal pack it will include all the instructions you need on how to complete and send your postal vote.

We must receive your completed postal pack for any election or referendum by 10pm on polling day.

Top tips for using a postal vote

  • Complete your postal vote in private and do not let anyone else see it as you would at a polling station
  • Do not let anyone else vote for you
  • Do not give your ballot paper or postal pack to anyone else
  • Seal all envelopes yourself
  • Take your postal vote to the post box yourself. If this isn't possible give it to someone you know and trust to post it for you
  • Check for a priority post box close to where you live. These post boxes have early and late collection times and many are emptied on Saturday and Sunday
  • If anyone tries to help you against your will, or forces you to give them your postal vote, you should contact the police
  • You may have heard about the requirement to take photo ID if you vote at a polling station. This does not affect postal votes

Returning your completed postal vote

The easiest and most convenient way to return your completed postal pack is by posting it in a Royal Mail post box using the pre-paid B envelope.

You can still hand deliver your postal vote to a polling station or the Electoral Services office before 10pm on polling day but be aware that the rules on postal vote handling have now changed. Find your polling station

If you decide to hand deliver your completed postal vote, you now need to complete a postal vote return form. If this form is not completed at all or not completed correctly, your postal vote will be rejected and not be counted in the election.

Staff authorised to receive postal votes at polling stations and your Electoral Services office can help you complete this form.

Who can hand deliver postal votes

You can only hand deliver your postal vote if you complete a postal vote return form. This is now law and any postal votes left at the polling station or council offices without the completed form will be rejected.

  • An individual can hand in their own postal vote as well as postal votes for up to five other people.
  • Political campaigners can handle their own postal vote and postal votes for up to five others who are either a close relative, or someone for whom they, or the organisation which employs or engages them, provides regular care. (Close relatives are an individual’s spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild. Two people living together as if they were a married couple or civil partners are treated as such).
  • Any postal votes that are handed in which belong to other people except those set out above will be rejected.

Who cannot hand deliver postal votes

  • Political campaigners cannot handle postal votes for other electors who are not close relatives or someone for whom they provide regular care.  (Close relatives are an individual’s spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild. Two people living together as if they were a married couple or civil partners are treated as such)
  • Individuals who are under 18
  • Individuals who have already handed in the maximum permitted number of postal votes for that election

It is an offence for political campaigners to handle postal votes which are not their own, those of close relatives or those of someone for whom they provide care. The Returning Officer will notify the police where they suspect an offence has been committed.

Your vote is yours alone

In any election in the UK, your vote belongs to you. Whether you vote at a polling station, by post, or via a proxy, it's your decision. It's illegal for anyone to influence you to vote against your will.

What is voter fraud? 

Voter fraud can take many different forms. No-one, not even a partner or family member, is allowed to:

  • Pressure you into voting a certain way
  • Offer you something in exchange for your vote
  • Pretend to be you at the polling station
  • Complete your postal vote for you

If someone tries to take your vote, or the vote of anyone you know, call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit

Other ways to apply

If you are unable to apply online and wish to request a hardcopy postal or proxy vote application form please use our online request form:

Request a paper postal vote application form

Alternatively, you can apply in person at the Electoral Services Office.

Electoral services contact details

Our opening times are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Address: Electoral Services Office, Blueschool House, Blueschool Street, Hereford HR1 2LX

Telephone: 01432 260107

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