Kids Young Peoples Hub



Near me

Speak up

Get help

Postal and Proxy Voting

Learn about postal and proxy voting, when you can use each one, and how they can be helpful if you have SEN and/or disabilities

Alternatives to in-person voting

In the UK, you don’t always have to go to a polling station to vote. You can also vote by post or by proxy. Let’s explore what these options are, how they work, and when you might want to use them.


voting in a uk general election

Postal Voting

Postal voting means you receive your ballot paper in the mail and send it back after marking your choices. This is useful if you can’t get to the polling station on election day.

How does Postal Voting Work?

  • Apply for a Postal Vote. You can apply via this link here or from your local council.
  • Fill it in and send it back.
  • Receive your ballot paper – a couple of weeks before the election, you’ll get your ballot paper in the mail.
  • Mark Your Vote – Choose your candidates just like you would at a polling station.
  • Return Your Ballot – Put your completed ballot paper in the provided envelope and mail it back. Make sure it arrives before the deadline, which is usually the day of the election.


Proxy Voting

Proxy voting means someone else votes on your behalf. This is handy if you’re unable to vote in person and can’t use postal voting.

How does Proxy Voting Work?

  • Apply for a Proxy Vote – You need to fill out a form to appoint someone you trust as your proxy. You can find this form here or from your local council,
  • Your Proxy Votes for You – On election day, your proxy goes to your polling station and votes for you. They must know your choices to cast your vote correctly.

The Importance of Trust in a Proxy Vote

Choosing your proxy is very important because they will be making your vote for you.

You should pick someone you trust completely, as they need to follow your voting instructions exactly.

This person can be a family member, a friend, or even a neighbour, as long as they are reliable and will respect your choices.


Emergency Proxy Votes

If something unexpected happens and you can’t vote on election day, you can apply for an emergency proxy vote.

This can be done up to 5 pm on election day if you have a medical emergency, or if you find out you cannot make it to the polling station due to work reasons.

You can find out more information about emergency proxy voting via this link here.


voting signs for postal and proxy voting


When might you use each type of vote?

Postal Voting:

  • You have a disability or illness that makes it hard to get to the polling station
  • You’re on holiday or travelling.
  • Your job or other commitments make it difficult to vote in person.

Proxy Voting:

  • You have a medical emergency and can’t vote yourself.
  • It’s difficult to get to a postbox or you prefer to use someone you trust as your proxy.
  • You’re abroad and postal voting isn’t an option.

Do These Votes Count the Same?

Absolutely! Whether you vote by post, by proxy, or in person, your vote counts the same. Every vote is included in the final tally to determine the election outcome.


General Election uk ballot box

Final Thoughts…

Voting by post or by proxy offers flexibility and ensures everyone can participate in elections, even if they can’t make it to the polling station.

Postal voting lets you vote from home, while proxy voting lets someone else vote for you.

Both methods ensure your vote counts just as much as any other.

Remember, your voice matters in a democracy, so make sure you vote, no matter how you choose to do it!


Articles to read next…


  • Preferred Name: Órla
  • Role at KIDS: Wellbeing co-ordinator.
  • About me: I run the online well-being groups and a group in Wandsworth. I am also a playworker! I have a background in Art therapy. 
  • Fun facts: I love different wheels! I have roller-skates, a surf-skate board and a bike. 


Like most websites we use cookies to make our website work. Cookies are small files that our website puts on your computer, phone, or tablet.

All the cookies we use are needed for the website to function properly. We do not use any cookies that track you across the web. 

If you would like more information then please read our privacy policy

Skip to content