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Changes to postal and proxy votes

Published October 31, 2023 11.01am


The way people can apply to vote by post or by proxy is changing.

We are reminding residents that the government has introduced changes for people who wish to apply to vote by post or proxy in future elections.

Applying to vote

From Tuesday 31 October, anyone who is applying to vote by post or proxy will need to provide their national insurance number as part of the application. This information will be used by the Department of Work and Pensions to help verify the application.

Any postal or proxy applications that were received before 31 October will be processed without the need for a national insurance number. Additionally, a national insurance number will not be required for emergency proxy applications made during an election.

From 31 October, postal vote applications will only be valid for three years instead of five years, although domestic proxy applications will continue to be valid for five years.

From 31 October, online postal or proxy applications can be made at Gov.uk: How to vote

Online portal

With the change, the government has created an online portal to complete a postal or proxy application. This can be used for:

  • Postal vote applications
  • Postal waiver applications
  • Proxy applications for a particular election or referendum
  • Proxy applications for a definite or indefinite period for overseas and service electors

However, paper applications are still requited for:

  • Proxy postal votes
  • Proxy votes for a definite or indefinite period due to disability, employment or service
  • Emergency proxy votes
  • Refresh of proxy signatures
  • Postal votes from an anonymous elector

For any queries relating to the changes in postal and proxy applications or to request a paper application form, contact electoral services on 03000 261 212 or email electoralservices@durham.gov.uk.