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Voting by post

You can now apply for a postal vote online using the government's new application service. You will need to provide your National Insurance number when you make the application.

You can have a postal vote instead of voting in the polling station. You can say whether you want to vote by post for a certain type of election (for example, general elections only).

When you apply for a postal vote you must provide your date of birth and a sample of your signature. When you cast your vote at an election you will need to provide this information again. We compare this to your original application to make sure that the person voting is the same as the person who applied for the postal vote.

We’ll send your postal vote to your home address or another address you specify (you must give a reason for your vote to go to another address). You must make sure that you return it to us by 10pm on election day – if your vote arrives after then it will not be counted.

If your postal vote does not arrive you can apply for a replacement, but you must do so by 5pm on election day.

Handing in postal votes in person? You'll need to complete an extra form

Under new rules postal voters must complete a Postal Vote Return (PVR) Form if handing their postal vote into City Hall or at a polling station.

If this form isn’t completed when a postal vote is returned, the ballot will be rejected (unless it is sent in the post via Royal Mail, as explained below).

If postal voters choose to hand in their votes at City Hall or at a polling station, they will need to ask for assistance completing a PVR form. The completed PVR form must be countersigned by a relevant officer. At City Hall the customer contact team are able to help electors complete the form, at polling stations it will be the polling station staff.

This will only take a few minutes, but if anyone leaves their postal ballot pack at City Hall or at a polling station without completing the relevant form, the postal vote will be rejected.

The simplest way to return postal votes is in the post

We encourage postal voters to return their postal vote by post via Royal Mail, using the freepost envelope provided, as this method doesn’t require a PVR form.

Please do not drop it off a postal vote in City Hall’s internal post or use the letter box outside the entrance on St Peter’s St, as it will be rejected. The simplest option is placing them in a Royal Mail post box.

Handing in more than one postal vote

There is now a strict limit on how many postal votes any one person can hand in.

An elector may hand in their own postal vote plus up to five postal vote packs from other electors, unless they are a candidate, agent, or party campaigner, in which case they can only hand in their own postal vote plus that of a close relative or someone they care for.

British Sign Language video

YouTube video produced by The Electoral Commission:

Voting by post on YouTube

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