Postal and proxy voting

How to apply for a postal vote or appoint a proxy

Voting by post

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 your identity. You will also need to be able to upload a photo / image of your handwritten signature as part of the application.

If your postal vote was approved before 31 October 2023, you will need to reapply before 31 January 2026 and you will be contacted before the deadline if you have not reapplied.

Returning your Postal Vote

The easiest way to return your postal vote is by post via Royal Mail. If you hand your postal vote in at the Council offices, this must be done during normal office hours, and you will be asked to complete a form. If a form is not completed, your postal vote will be rejected. You will also be asked to complete a form if you hand your postal vote in at a polling station on the day of the election. Voters will not be allowed to hand in more than five postal ballot packs (in addition to their own).

For more information, please visit: Changes to postal voting | Electoral Commission

Cancelling a postal vote

If you would like to cancel a postal vote, you will need to send a signed letter to Elections, Eastleigh House, Upper Market Street, Eastleigh SO50 9YN. You can also email the letter to

Amending a postal vote

If you have changed your name or moved house, you will need to make a new application for a postal vote, but please make sure that you have also registered your new name or at your new address.

Please note that applications, amendments or cancellations will have a deadline for each election.

Voting by proxy

Voting by proxy means that you can appoint someone else to vote on your behalf.  However, if you find that you are able to vote on election day, you can still go to the polling station and vote, but the person you have appointed as your proxy will not then be able to vote on your behalf. The deadline for applications to vote by proxy is by 5pm, six working days before election day.  See below for information about emergency applications.  

Your proxy can either vote at the polling station where you would have had to vote yourself or they can apply for a postal proxy vote. Applications for a postal proxy vote must be received eleven working days before an election. 

You may need to appoint a proxy because:

  • you are unable to go to the polling station eg if you are away on holiday
  • you have a physical condition that means you cannot go to the polling station
  • your job means you cannot go to the polling station
  • your attendance on an education course means you cannot go to the polling station 
  • you are a British citizen living overseas (Parliamentary and European Parliamentary only)
  • you are a crown servant or a member of the armed forces

Emergency proxy

If circumstances change and you need to vote by proxy and it is within six working days of an election, you will need to complete an emergency application form. Please note that there are different forms depending on the reason for the proxy request. If you have any queries regarding the above, or would like more advice, please contact us on 023 8068 8000 or email

Your application will be acknowledged and you will receive confirmation that your request to vote by proxy has been registered.