What is voting by proxy?
A proxy vote is a vote cast by somebody on behalf of another.
If you are unable to get to your polling station and would prefer not to have a postal vote, you can appoint somebody else to vote on your behalf. You must complete a proxy application form and you must state why you want to vote by proxy, for example, for medical or work reasons. Voting by proxy can also be useful if you are abroad during an election or you live overseas in a country too far away to send back a postal vote in time for an election.
Your appointed proxy must vote in person at your polling station, unless they applied to vote by post as a proxy before the postal voting deadline.
How to return your forms
Proxy voting application forms
Completed application forms must reach Electoral Services by 5pm, 6 working days before an election.
scan or photograph and email to email@example.com; or
return by post to Electoral Services, Elmbridge Borough Council, Civic Centre, High Street, Esher, KT10 9SD; or
hand into the Civic Centre in Esher
Who can apply to vote by proxy
If you are registered to vote you can apply for a proxy vote for the following reasons:
You are unable to go to the polling station for one particular election, for example, if you are away on holiday
You have a physical condition that means you are unable to attend your polling station
Your employment means that you are unable to go to your polling station
Your attendance on an educational course means you are unable to attend your polling station
You are a British citizen living overseas
You are a crown servant or a member of the armed forces
You are registered as an anonymous voter
Who is eligible to vote on your behalf
Anyone can be your proxy as long as they are eligible to vote in that type of election and they are willing to vote on your behalf. They must be registered to vote themselves. You cannot be a proxy for more than two people at any one election, unless they are a close relative.
Voting on election day
Your proxy will be sent a proxy poll card prior to the election to tell them where to go to vote on your behalf.
If the voter is able to attend your polling station on election day, the voter can vote there as long as they do so before the proxy has voted on their behalf. The voter will not be able to vote at the polling station if their proxy has applied to vote by post.
Temporary and permanent proxy votes
You can appoint a proxy for a particular election or permanently. If you appoint a temporary proxy for a particular election you must state why you want a proxy vote but do not need anybody to support your application.
If you appoint a permanent proxy you must ask a doctor, nurse, carer, employer or other qualified person to support your application to confirm that the reason you are applying is valid. The form tells you who can support your application.
If you are registered blind, or receive the higher rate of the mobility component of the disability living allowance, or the enhanced rate of the mobility component of the personal independence payment, or an armed forces independence payment, you do not need anyone to support your application.
If after the deadline for temporary and permanent proxy applications you are unable to vote in person because:
- you have a medical emergency
- you learn you cannot go to the polling station because of works reasons
- you or your appointed proxy is self-isolating as a result of government guidance or medical advice
you can apply to vote by emergency proxy. Completed applications much reach Electoral Services by 5pm on election day.