Absent voting

If you’re unable to get to your local polling stations on the day of an election, you can vote by post.

Anyone who is registered to vote can apply for a postal vote, so long as you’re aged 18 or over.

Please check our Upcoming and scheduled elections page for any relevant postal vote application deadlines occurring soon.

How to apply

You’ll need to complete, sign, and return an application form to vote by post. You can either return your completed form to us via email (we do accept photos and scanned images) or by post.

Electoral Services, North Somerset Council, Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ

Signature for application form

The signature you give on your application form must match the one you use when you vote by post, so it’s important you sign the same way each time.

If you can’t provide a signature

If you can’t sign the application form, or can’t sign in the same way every time (e.g., because of a disability or physical impairment), you can apply for a ‘waiver’. This removes the requirement to provide a signature when completing your postal vote. If you would like to request a waiver, please contact us by email electoral.services@n-somerset.gov.uk or telephone 01934 634 909.

Proxy voting

You can vote by proxy for as many close family members as necessary, for example parent, child, sibling or grandparent. If they are not related to you, you can only vote for a maximum of two people.

An appointed proxy must be registered to vote and will need to vote in the polling station of the person they are proxy for. If they are unable to attend their proxy’s polling station on the day of poll, a postal proxy vote may be set up.

You can also contact the electoral services team for further information.

If you live abroad

To avoid any issues with the sending and returning of a postal vote before the close of poll at an election, we recommend you set up a proxy vote.

If you would still like to vote by post, and believe that there will be enough time for your postal vote to reach you and be returned to us in time to be counted, you’ll need to complete and return an application to vote by post.

After you’ve applied

We’ll confirm that your postal vote application has been successful but there may not always be enough time to do this just before an election. We may be in contact with you if there was a problem with your application.

How to cancel your postal vote

If you want to cancel your postal vote, we must receive a request in writing stating:

  • your name
  • your address
  • that you want to cancel your postal vote

Email electoral.services@n-somerset.gov.uk if you wish to cancel your postal vote.

If you wish to cancel your postal vote close to the time of an election, there will be a deadline for when we must receive this request. More details will be available on the webpage for the election.

Once your postal vote is completed, you can post your postal vote using the envelope provided or hand it in at your local polling station on election day. You must hand it in at the polling station you usually vote at. Your postal vote must reach us by 10pm on election day.

Absent vote signature renewal

If you have a postal vote, by law you must renew your signature every five years. Therefore, we will write to you to confirm your signature. You should complete the form and return it in the pre-paid envelope.

If you don’t complete and return this form, your postal vote will be removed and you will have to complete a fresh application form if you want to vote by post in the future.