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How to register and vote at elections

Proxy voting

Voting by proxy means you can ask someone else to go to the polling station and cast your vote on your behalf. This is also known as absent voting.  

Deadlines apply during an election. Keep an eye on our upcoming elections and referendums (opens new window) page for elections in Wiltshire.

Your proxy

The person you appoint as your proxy should be someone you trust to vote on your behalf.

Your proxy must:

  • be registered to vote
  • be allowed to vote in the type of election taking place
  • be able to vote at the polling station where you usually cast your vote

Your proxy must cast your vote at your usual polling station. If your proxy lives a long way from your polling station then once your proxy application has been completed, they can ask for your ballot papers to be sent to them in the post. This is known as voting by postal proxy.

Apply to vote by proxy

To apply for a proxy vote, you need to complete a form and give a reason you can't get to your polling station in person. It may be because you are on holiday, can't get to the polling station or are away for education or for work.

You should ask the person you wish to appoint as your proxy if they are happy to vote on your behalf before applying.

You will need to complete a new proxy application if you have moved house.

Before starting your application online you will need:

  • to be registered to vote
  • your national insurance number
  • the name, address and contact details of the person you would like to appoint as your proxy

Proxy vote for a specific election only 

There are 2 ways to apply for a proxy vote for a single election:

If you are unable to print an application form contact Electoral Services to request a hard copy to the sent in the post. Email elections@wiltshire.gov.uk (opens new window) with your full name and address to request a hard copy to be sent to you in the post.

Proxy vote long-term or permanent

The form you must complete for a long-term proxy depends on the reason you wish to vote by proxy. You must complete the form relevant to your situation.

You can complete a proxy application form online if: 

  • you are a registered overseas voter
  • you work overseas for the British Council or as a Crown servant
  • you are serving overseas in the Armed Forces

GOV.UK: Apply to vote by proxy (opens new window)

Visit Electoral Commission - voting by proxy (opens new window) to download a form if you won't be able to go to the polling station for the foreseeable future due to:

  • you have a disability
  • you are away on an educational course
  • you are away for work
  • you are a registered overseas voter
  • you work overseas for the British Council or as a Crown servant
  • you are serving overseas in the Armed Forces
  • you are a registered as an anonymous elector

If you need help with your application contact Electoral Services on 0300 456 0112.

After you've applied

We will confirm that your application has been successful. There may not always be time to do this if you have applied on a deadline before an election. 

If we need more information to process your application you will receive an email from us explaining any additional information we require. 

Applying for a postal vote as a proxy 

A postal proxy vote is where someone appointed as a proxy for an elector asks for a postal vote so that the electors ballot paper(s) are sent to an address convenient for the proxy. It is usually used for electors who appoint a proxy outside of Wiltshire or far away from the electors usual polling station. 

You should only apply for a proxy postal vote after your application to vote by proxy has been successful. The form must be completed by the proxy, not by the elector appointing a proxy. 

Application for a proxy to vote by post (OpenDocument text format) [20KB] (opens new window)

If you are unable to print an application form contact Electoral Services to request a hard copy to the sent in the post. Email elections@wiltshire.gov.uk (opens new window) with your full name and address to request a hard copy to be sent to you in the post.

Cancel your proxy vote

If you want to cancel an existing proxy vote we must receive a request in writing stating:

  • your name
  • your address
  • that you would like to cancel your proxy vote

You can send this by email to elections@wiltshire.gov.uk (opens new window) ensuring you use 'Proxy cancellation' as the subject heading. Deadlines apply during an election.

How to vote by proxy

At the time of an election both you and the person you have nominated as your proxy will receive a poll card. The poll card will inform your proxy where they need to go to cast your vote. Let your proxy know who you would like to vote for.

When your proxy goes to the polling station to cast your vote they will be asked to show an accepted form of photo ID.

If your proxy does not receive a poll card at the time of an election, please ask them to contact us immediately.

You can still vote in person at your polling station if you have a proxy vote, but only if your proxy has not already voted for you.

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