Absent voting - voting by post and by proxy

You can vote in an election without going to a polling station. If you wish, you may choose to vote by post or by proxy (appointing someone to vote on your behalf). You do not need to wait until an election is being held to apply for a postal or proxy vote.

When an election is held an election timetable will be published with last date before the election that you can apply. As a rule, completed application forms for postal votes must reach our office by no later than 5pm on the eleventh working day before an election. Applications for proxy votes must normally reach us by no later than 5pm on the sixth working day before an election. However, "emergency" proxy votes will be allowed after this up to 5pm on the day of the poll. 


Absent vote signature refresh

If you have an absent vote that is more than 5 years old, then we will be requesting a fresh signature from you. Look out for the signature refresh form coming through your door,

To keep your postal vote sign the form in black ink and post it in the prepaid envelope.

Help us to save money by returning the form promptly. If you do not want to keep your postal vote please let us know by ticking the box on the form and returning it to us.


Postal Voting

Postal votes are available to anyone on the electoral register. You may set up a postal vote on a permanent basis or one temporarily for a specific election. You can also request a postal vote for a specific period (for example for a student away at university).

It is not possible normally to send out postal votes any earlier than a week before an election is held. This should give the elector ample opportunity to fill out the ballot paper and return it by post to our office before the close of poll on election day. Postal votes can also be returned by hand to Brighton Town Hall or to a polling station within the appropriate electoral area, again before the close of poll.

A postal vote can be sent to the voter's home address or to an address where he/she is resident at the time of the election. However, for security reasons, existing postal voters must give a reason if they ask for their postal votes to be re-directed. A postal vote may even be sent overseas, but this is not recommended as there is very little time for the voter to receive and return the ballot paper in time for polling day. In these circumstances, it may be preferable to appoint a proxy.

A voter sent a postal vote will not be allowed to vote in person at a polling station. Replacements for lost or spoilt postal voting papers can be collected from the Town Hall up to 5pm on the day of the poll. In these circumstances, voters will be asked to produce proof of identity. 


How do I apply for a postal vote?

Please contact the Electoral Services Office  and ask for an application form. A personalised form will be posted to you. When the form arrives, complete and return it as soon as possible in the envelope provided. Alternatively, you can download a postal vote form from the aboutmyvote website and return it to the Electoral Services Office at Brighton Town Hall.  


Proxy Voting

If you cannot get to the polling station on election day, because of ill-health or your employment, for example, you can apply for a proxy vote. This is where you appoint somebody to vote for you. The person appointed as your proxy must be eligible to vote in the election although they are not required to be registered as an elector. A person cannot vote as proxy for more than two voters, including yourself, unless he or she is the spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild of the voter. Your proxy will be sent details on how to cast your vote for you a week or two before the day of the election.

You are still able to cast your own vote as long as your proxy has not voted already. If your proxy goes to the polling station after you, he or she would not be allowed to cast your vote again.

Permanent proxy voting is only available to certain people on the grounds of health, employment or full time education commitments. Please contact Electoral Services to request a copy of the appropriate application form or download a form from the aboutmyvote website. This form may need to be supported by a suitably qualified person, in accordance with the notes printed on the form.

Temporary proxy voting is available to any registered elector for any reason. Applications are made for a specific election and do not need to be supported by anyone. Please contact Electoral Services to request the appropriate application form.  


Postal Proxy Voting

If your proxy cannot attend your polling station in person for any reason on the day of the election, they can apply to vote by post. Please contact Electoral Services to request a copy of the appropriate application form.