Voting by proxy
Voting by proxy means appointing a trusted friend or relative to carry out your vote on your behalf. Usually the proxy will go to your allocated Polling Station to cast your vote for you in person, but they can apply to receive your vote through the post for them to complete if this is preferred. In either case, you need to inform them which candidate(s) you want to vote for in each election so they can mark your vote for you in accordance with your wishes.
Applying to vote by proxy as a one-off arrangement for a specific election date is available to all registered electors, providing there is a valid reason. We can also register you for proxy voting valid for a three-year period (subject to legal requirements) if:
- You regularly work away
- You are a student studying away from home
- You find it physically difficult to attend the polling station
In order to obtain a proxy vote for a three-year period for one of these reasons, you will need to complete a specific application form, which can be requested from our office. The application requires a signature from a qualified professional who can confirm that the reason given is true and accurate.
People choose to vote by proxy as it is a flexible absent vote arrangement. This is because if you are unable to get to your Polling Station on Polling Day then your proxy can attend and cast your vote for you as per your instructions. However if you do happen to be able to attend at your Polling Station on Polling Day then you can go and vote in person, so long as your proxy has not already been on your behalf.
(NB If the proxy has applied to receive the elector's vote through the post then neither the proxy nor the elector can vote at the Polling Station).
How to apply
To appoint someone to cast your vote on your behalf you must complete an application form. The Elections Team can post an application form to your registered address, please call the team on (01502) 523238 to request a form or email the Electoral Services Team. You can also download a form, which you need to print off, fill in by hand and then return to the Elections Office.
You can apply to vote by proxy throughout the year but an application must be received by 5pm, six working days before an election in order for it to be valid for that election. For any changes to your absent vote arrangements you must allow enough time for an application to be completed by you and returned before the deadline - we cannot process any applications received after the deadline. If you already have a postal vote arrangement in place and want to change to a proxy arrangement, we must be notified by the deadline for postal vote arrangements that you wish to cancel that arrangement before we can put in place a new proxy arrangement.
If you apply to vote by proxy, your proxy will receive a proxy poll card or letter before the election that they can take to the Polling Station with them. If your appointed proxy would prefer to receive your vote by post they can do so, but they must complete and return an additional form and this form must reach us before the deadline for applications to vote by post has passed for any given election. If they choose to receive your vote by post then you will not be able to vote in person on Polling Day should you happen to be in the Waveney area.