Apply for a postal or proxy vote

Provides details on postal and proxy vote applications for any future elections.

More information on postal and proxy votes

You have to be registered to vote before applying for a postal or proxy vote. If you are not registered, then you need to register now .

Postal voting

Anyone who is on the electoral register can apply for a postal vote, applications can be made by paper or via the online portal (from 31 October 2023).

From 31 October 2023, all postal vote applications will require a national insurance number, in addition to date of birth and copy of your signature.

If you care unable to provide your national insurance number, you will be required to provide an explanation. Further evidence may also be requested by the Electoral Registration Officer.

You can have your ballot paper delivered to your registered address or, provided you can supply us with a reason, an alternative address.

To apply for a postal vote online go to the Gov.UK website.

To download the postal vote application form go to the Electoral Commission website. 

Important information on returning postal votes

The rules for postal voting have now changed and postal voters are encouraged to use the Royal Mail envelope provided with the postal vote pack, wherever possible.

Anyone returning a postal vote by hand to the Local Returning Officer must complete a postal vote return form.

A postal vote returned by hand that is not accompanied by a postal vote return form will be rejected.

There are also new limits on the number of postal votes that can be handed in by one person.

Electors who wish to hand their postal vote in at the polling stations or designated council offices must complete a postal vote return form for the postal vote to be accepted.

Postal votes should not be put through the council's letter boxes or via internal council mail boxes as these will have to be rejected. 

Proxy voting

You can also appoint someone to vote on your behalf. This is known as a proxy vote.

Please note, from 31 October 2023, electors will only be able to act as a proxy for up to two people living in the UK. Electors voting on behalf of UK voters who live overseas can act as a proxy for up to four people. All proxy vote applications will also require a national insurance number.

You can apply for a permanent proxy vote if:

  • You have a permanent physical incapacity, are registered blind or receive the higher rate of mobility component of the disability living allowance.
  • Your work frequently takes you away from home.
  • You are attending an educational course that means you cannot vote in person.
  • You are a British citizen living overseas.
  • The permanent application form requires a signed declaration, from either a doctor, nurse or warden of a home, educational tutor/director or in the case of work your employer.

If you choose to vote by proxy for all elections you will need to give a reason and get someone to support your application, (please on the relevant application form which people are qualified to support your application).

You can also apply for a temporary proxy vote for a particular election and you are required to give a reason, e.g. illness, disability, employment, attendance on a course etc.

You can now apply online for a proxy vote for a particular election or referendum, or if you are an overseas voter.

To apply for a proxy vote online go to the Gov.UK website. 

For all other proxy applications, please download the relevant paper form from the Electoral Commission website and return to us (contact details below).

Emergency proxy vote

An emergency proxy vote can be arranged if you find you are ill, or otherwise unable to vote in person, and the deadline for postal and proxy vote applications has closed. Please contact Cumberland Elections on 0300 373 3730.

Where to send these forms?

Once you have completed your postal or proxy vote application, you can post to:

Electoral Services
Cumberland Council
Civic Centre

Alternatively, you can hand forms into any of the following offices for the attention of Electoral Services:

Allerdale House
CA14 3YJ

Market Hall
Market Place
CA28 7JG

Civic Centre
CA3 8Q