Postal and Proxy Voting

Postal Voting

Changes to postal voting

The way that you apply for postal voting is changing from 31 October 2023 where you will have the option of completing a postal vote application through a new central government portal

You will also need to provide your National Insurance number when applying for an absent vote whether this be an online application or paper application. 

The maximum length of a postal vote application has reduced from 5 years to 3 years before it needs to be renewed. 


Handing in of Postal Votes at Council Offices or at a Polling Station

There will be a limit on the number of postal votes a person can hand in at the Council Offices or at a polling station - they will not be allowed to hand in more than five postal ballot packs for other electors plus their own.  

  • Anyone handing in postal votes will need to complete a 'return of postal voting documents' form
  • The person handing in the postal vote(s) will need to complete the form with their name, address and the reason for handing in other people's postal votes (where appropriate)
  • They will also need to complete a declaration that they are not handing in more than the permitted number, and that they are not a political campaigner

Reasons your Postal Votes might be Rejected:

  • If a person hands in more than five postal votes for other electors, all the postal votes will be rejected
  • If the return of postal voting documents form is not completed with all the required information, or to the authorised officer's satisfaction, the postal vote(s) will be rejected
  • If the postal vote is returned via the letter box at the Council Offices will be rejected

Please note the Council Offices at the City Hall, Beaumont Fee, Lincoln, LN1 1DD will only accept handing in of postal votes during normal office hours.

Rejected postal votes will not be included in the count.

After the election, the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) will write to electors who have had their postal votes rejected, telling them why.


How Postal Voting Works

Postal voting is available on request to any registered elector. To set up a postal vote the elector will need to complete a postal vote application form. You can apply for a postal vote on GOV.UK. 

A postal vote can be sent to the elector's home address or to an address where they will be at the time of an election. However, for security reasons, electors must give a reason on their application form if they ask for their postal votes to be sent to another address.

A postal vote can be set up on a permanent basis, temporarily for a specific election or for a specified period (e.g. while a student is away at university). If you have a postal vote and move house you will need to re-register to change your address on the electoral register and then complete a new application to vote by post for the new address.


Apply to Vote by Post

You can apply for a postal vote on GOV.UK. You can also apply for a postal vote via a paper application form, which are available to download from the the Electoral Commission website or you can request a copy by emailing Once the paper application form has been completed with a ‘wet ink’ signature, it can be returned in paper form, or as an email attachment.

If you are submitting a paper application form to vote by post at a particular election, ensure you allow sufficient time for any postal vote application forms to reach us, particularly if you are posting your forms. For postal and proxy forms, you can also scan them and return as an email attachment to

If you are not yet registered to vote, you can apply online.

At election time, when you are sent your postal voting pack, it will contain a postal voting statement form which you must complete with your date of birth and signature, and an envelope in which to place your marked ballot paper. For your vote to be counted, you must return both the postal voting statement form and the ballot paper. Your ballot paper must be sealed in envelope A and the postal voting statement along with the sealed envelope A need to both be placed in Envelope B.


Voting from Overseas

If you want the postal vote to be sent to an overseas address, you should be confident that the postal services can deliver it to you and return it to the relevant election office in the UK so that it arrives by the date of the election, so that it can be counted. If you are not sure that this can be done, you could appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf at the polling station in the UK for the address at which you are registered, or to which you are linked if you are an overseas elector (your ‘qualifying address’).

Please note that once you have been sent a postal ballot paper you will not be able to vote in person.


Lost/Spoilt Postal Voting Papers

Anyone shown as a postal voter for a particular election will not be allowed to vote in person at a polling station, even if their postal vote has not arrived. Replacements for lost or spoilt postal voting papers can be issued from 5 working days before an election up until 5pm on election day. In these circumstances, voters will be asked to produce proof of identity and may need to collect any replacement postal voting papers from the City of Lincoln Council, City Hall, Beaumont Fee, Lincoln, LN1 1DD.