Home > Councillors and Elections > Elections > Vote by Post or Proxy

Vote by Post or Proxy

If you are unable to, or do not wish to, vote in person at your assigned polling station you can apply to vote by post or by proxy.

A Postal Vote is where your ballot papers are sent to you to ahead of poll day.  You then complete the paperwork and return your ballot by post.

A Proxy Vote is where you nominate a person to cast your vote for you.  This person can cast your vote at your assigned polling station or they can choose to cast your vote by post (as long as they request this in time). 

General Election - 4 July 2024

If you are going to be away on polling day or cannot get to your polling station, you can apply for a postal vote at https://www.gov.uk/apply-postal-vote 

If you apply for a postal vote from 31 May 2024, then your postal ballot pack will be despatched to you on 26 June. This also applies to any Overseas Electors that apply for a postal vote from that date.

If you think you will away and unable to receive your ballot papers for the 26 June despatch, or you are an Overseas Electors, you may wish to consider appointing a Proxy Vote instead.  Due to a shortened election timetable, we cannot guarantee that your postal pack will arrive in good time for you to complete your postal pack and for us to receive it before the deadline of 10pm on 4 July 2024

You can apply for a Proxy Vote at http://www.gov.uk/apply-proxy-vote

Voting by post

From 31 October 2023, when you apply for a postal vote, you will need to supply your National Insurance Number, as well as your name, address and date of birth in order that we can verify the identity of the person applying for the postal vote.

Anyone who applied for a postal vote before 31 October 2023 will need to reapply before 31 January 2026. We will be emailing existing postal voters in the first instance and ask them to reapply. Anyone who has not supplied an email address will receive a letter advising of the new requirements and asking them to renew before 31 January 2026.

How to Apply

To vote by post at any election we must receive your application at the very latest by 5pm on the 11th working day before the election.

How does postal voting work?

You will receive a ballot paper and a postal voting statement which you have to complete, an envelope to put the ballot paper in and a postage-paid return envelope (not valid overseas).

Place your completed ballot paper and postal vote statement in the return envelope provided and post.

It is your responsibility to post it back in time to reach us before the close of poll on election day. This is especially relevant for ballot papers being sent overseas.  If you leave it too late to post it, you can take it on election day (before the close of poll) to your assigned polling station and hand it to the presiding officer.  Please note - if you hand deliver postal votes either to a polling station or to the Council Offices at Whitfield, you will need to complete a form at the delivery point advising how many postal votes you are handing in (maximum of 6 allowed, if one of them is your own) and who they belong to, amongst other information. The form must be countersigned by an authorised officer at the delivery point.

Candidates and campaigners can only hand in postal votes for people in their own household or that they act as carers for - they MUST NOT return postal votes for anyone else.

Failure to complete the form or complete it incorrectly, handing in more postal votes than the maximum allowed or being a candidate/campaigner handing in non-eligible postal votes will result in all the postal votes you hand delivered to be rejected and not included in the counting of the votes.

You can ask for a postal vote for one particular election only, for a particular period, or have it set up for a maximum of 3 years.  If you ask for your postal vote to be valid for the maximum period, we will write out to let you know when your postal vote is due for renewal.

You can have your postal vote sent to any address you want, provided you have told us in writing prior to 5pm on the 11th working day before the poll. 

What if something goes wrong?

If you have not received your ballot paper by the fourth working day before election day, you can ask us to give you a replacement ballot paper - but we can only do this up to 5pm on the day of the election. We will ask you for proof of identity. The short timescale and the need for proof of identity, will mean that you have to come to the council offices to collect a replacement ballot paper.

If you fill in your ballot paper incorrectly and you want us to replace it, you must bring it to the council offices together with all the other documents we sent with it, and ask us to give you a new ballot paper. You must do this before 5pm on the day of the election at the latest. You will have to collect the new papers from the council offices in Whitfield if there is not time to post them to you.

Cancelling a Postal Vote

You can cancel a postal vote but you must tell us in writing. We need to receive this at least 11 days before an election or you will still get your postal vote and not be able to vote at a polling station at that election.

Voting by proxy

Proxy voting is when you appoint someone to attend your polling station and vote on your behalf. There are three types of Proxy Vote: a one-off proxy for a particular election, a long-term proxy and an emergency proxy. 

You may need to have your application for a proxy vote supported by someone (for example a medical worker or education provider).

Long term proxy applications for domestic electors i.e. UK based electors who are not registered to vote as service voters or crown servants, are valid for a maximum of 5 years. 

From 31 October 2023 you will need to give your National Insurance Number as well as your name, address and date of birth as part of the application.  Existing proxy voters will need to reapply for their proxy vote between 31 October 2023 and 30 January 2024 in order to update these details. We will be writing to all relevant individuals after 31 October 2023.

How to Apply

To vote by proxy at any election we must receive your application at the very latest by:

  • 5pm on the 11th working day before the election if you already have an existing postal or proxy vote in place.
  •  5pm on the 6th working day before the election if you do not have an existing postal or proxy vote in place.
  • 5pm on poll day for an emergency proxy.

The person you choose to act as your proxy must be registered to vote, must be eligible to vote in the election and must not be acting as a proxy for more than 4 people, of which no more than 2 can be for domestic electors i.e., UK based and not service voters or crown servants.

You can still vote in a polling station if you set up a proxy vote, but you must get to the polling station before your proxy has used your vote. You cannot vote yourself if your proxy has already voted for you or if your proxy has applied to cast your vote by post.

Anybody voting in person at a polling station (including your proxy) must show a form of photographic identification. Details of acceptable identification can be found on our Voter ID page

Cancelling a Proxy Vote

You can cancel a proxy vote but you must tell us in writing. We need to receive this at least 11 working days before an election or your proxy will still be able to vote on your behalf at that election.





Tel: 01304 872344

Email: vote@dover.gov.uk

Application forms can be posted to: Electoral Services, Dover District Council, White Cliffs Business Park, Whitfield, Kent, CT16 3PJ