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How to Vote in Elections

Elections are your opportunity to shape the future of Nottingham and have a say in the governance of the country. Voting is a simple process that you can participate in either in person, by post, or by nominating a proxy.

Register to vote - GOV.UK (

Ensure you're eligible to vote by registering online through the registration link or by calling the elections team at 0115 876 4111.

Special Arrangements:

Special arrangements may apply to students, members of HM Armed Forces, UK citizens abroad, and homeless individuals.

Find more information on our Special Arrangements for Registering to Vote page.

How to Complete your Postal Vote

Your postal voting statement

You must complete and return this statement or your vote cannot be counted.

Remove your postal voting statement from your ballot paper, by tearing along the perforation.

Enter your date of birth and signature in the boxes provided keeping within the lines. Make sure that you:

  • Complete the correct pack addressed to you (do not mix your statement and ballot paper up with anyone else’s in your household)
  • Enter your date of birth, not the date you sign it
  • Sign using your usual signature (DO NOT print your name)
  • Use a black pen wherever possible.

If you have been granted a signature waiver, you will only need to enter your of birth, no signature is required.

Fill in your ballot paper

Mark your ballot paper by following the instructions at the top of the ballot paper. Please remember to:

  • Put no other mark on the ballot paper, or your vote may not be counted.

If you need help to vote, you can ask someone you know or get independent help by calling the helpline on 0115 876 4111. The person helping you must not tell anyone how you voted.

After you have voted

Insert your ballot paper into brown envelope A (with the ballot paper number on the back of the ballot paper showing through window) and seal it.

Put both your sealed envelope A and your completed postal voting statement into white envelope B, with the council return address showing through the window, seal it and post. Do this as soon as you can.

It must reach the (Acting) Returning Officer by 10pm on polling day (the day of the election).

If you miss the post or want to hand in your completed postal vote

If you miss the post, you can hand in your postal vote and/or the postal vote of up to five others at the council office (Loxley House, Station Street, Nottingham NG2 3NG) during office hours. It must be handed to a person authorised to receive postal votes. You can also hand it in at a polling station in the constituency before 10pm on polling day

You will be provided with a form which you must complete for the postal vote(s) you are handing in to be accepted. If you do not complete this form your votes cannot be counted. You can hand in your own postal vote and/ or the postal votes for up to 5 other voters.

If you are a political campaigner - you can only hand in your own postal vote plus the votes of up to 5 family members or people for whom you provide regular care.

Do not post any postal votes in the letter box or through the door of the council office as they will be rejected. Do not drop your postal votes off at any other Council Office.

Do not put any postal packs in the ballot box at a polling station.

What to do if you make a mistake

If you make a mistake you can get a replacement. Call us immediately on 0115 876 4111 as we can only issue a replacement before 5pm on polling day. If you lose your postal ballot paper or the postal voting statement, you can get a replacement from four working days before polling day. If you apply after 5pm on the day before polling day, we can only issue a replacement if you return your original ballot pack in person.

Electoral fraud is a crime. It is an offence to vote more than once in an election unless you are voting on your own behalf and as an appointed proxy for another person.

On Election Day:

  • Inform staff of your name and address for verification.
  • You don't need your poll card to vote.
  • From 2023, onwards, voters must show a valid photo ID to vote in person. Learn more about acceptable forms and how to obtain free photo ID on our Voter ID page.
  • Receive a stamped ballot paper with official marks.
  • Enter the polling booth to mark your vote. If visually impaired, request a special voting device for privacy.
  • Read the ballot paper carefully and follow instructions on the number of votes allowed.
  • Fold the paper and deposit it in the ballot box. Ensure your vote remains confidential.

For a visual guide, refer to the voting in person video for step-by-step instructions. Your participation is crucial, and we are here to assist. If you have any questions, contact the staff at the polling station or visit our Information for Voters with a Disability page for additional support. Make your voice heard and contribute to the democratic process in Nottingham.

If you have lost your poll card, you can find out where your nearest polling station is by using our polling station finder.

Polling station finder

The below video provides a step-by-step guide on voting in person at the polling station. Please note this video was created before the introduction of voter ID. 

Voting in person at the polling station (

Anyone can opt for a postal vote by applying online or completing a paper application form. Click the link below to apply online: Apply for a postal vote online.

Apply for a postal vote online

You can access a postal vote application form by clicking the below link.

Submit the completed form via post or email as a clear, scanned attachment or picture, ensuring a signed form (not typed) is visible.

To confirm your identity, provide your National Insurance number. If unavailable, provide an explanation.

Process and Duration:

Upon application, your details will be added to the postal voters list, and an acknowledgment letter will be sent.

Choose to vote by post for a specific election, a defined period, or the maximum period (up to 3 years). Reapply if changing address or after expiry.

Before the Election:

Receive a polling card outlining your postal voting arrangements.

Approximately 10 days before the election, receive your postal vote by post. It includes a ballot paper, a ballot paper envelope, a postal voting statement, and a return envelope.

We know postal voters are keen to know when their UK Parliamentary general election ballot pack will arrive. This will depend on:

  • When your application was processed
  • how long post takes to be delivered to you – particularly if you are an overseas voter.

Existing postal voters plus new applications processed by 3rd of June.

Your postal vote pack was sent out on 11th of June if you are an overseas elector, or the 19th of June if you live in the UK.

Applications processed by the 19th of June.

Your postal vote pack will be sent out on if you are 24th of June.

Why aren’t postal votes sent out as soon as an application comes in?

Candidate nominations closed at 16:00 on Friday 7 June, so ballot papers could only be finalised and sent to print after that. 

Due to the short notice for the 4 July UK Parliamentary General Election, specialist election printers and Royal Mail are working at capacity to print and deliver over 8 million postal votes across the UK.

It’s a complicated process, with personalised postal vote statements matched with the correct ballot paper. There is also a need to produce personalised envelopes and instruction sheets. We also need to carry out crucial security checks which add to the time needed to prepare and send votes out.

Postal votes for overseas electors have early priority because of the extra time it takes for international mail to be delivered and returned. 

What if I’m going on holiday before my vote is likely to arrive?

If you applied for a postal vote and don’t think you’ll be home to return it by post on Thursday 4 July, you can drop your completed postal vote pack in to your polling station. You must complete a form when you hand it in.

If you won’t be back in time to use your postal vote, you can instead appoint someone you trust as a proxy to vote on your behalf. You will need to 

  • Cancel your postal vote by 17:00 on Wednesday 19 June. This will happen automatically when you appoint a proxy, but you can contact us to talk about other options to cancel.
  • Make a proxy application by 17:00 on Wednesday 26 June
  • The person you appoint as a proxy must:
    • Be a registered parliamentary elector who can vote in this election.
    • Only be a proxy for up to two electors living in the UK, plus up to two people living abroad, or up to four people living abroad.
  • Your proxy can:
    • Vote in person on your behalf at your polling station. They will have to show their own accepted form of photo ID to be able to vote or
    • Vote by post for you but must apply for a proxy postal vote by 17:00 on Wednesday 19 June.

Visual Guide

For a visual guide, watch the voting by post video offering step-by-step instructions.

If you're unable to visit a polling station or prefer not to vote by post, you have the option to appoint someone to vote on your behalf through a process known as voting by proxy.

Apply for a proxy vote online by clicking the GOV.UK link and completing the necessary details.

Apply for a proxy vote - GOV.UK (

Eligibility and Reasons:

You must have a valid reason for applying to vote by proxy, such as working away, studying at university, or being infirm. Clearly state the reason for your inability to attend the polling station and nominate the person you wish to appoint as your proxy.

In the case of an indefinite proxy, authentication may be necessary, typically facilitated by a credible individual such as your employer, lecturer, or healthcare professional. This additional step ensures the legitimacy and validity of the proxy arrangement.

Proxy Voting Forms:

Download the appropriate proxy voting form based on your circumstances:

Return completed forms by post or as a scanned attachment via email. Ensure the scanned image shows a signed form, not a typed signature.

Emergency Proxy:

In cases where your intended photo ID is lost, stolen, destroyed, or damaged after the Voter Authority Certificate deadline, or due to a medical or employment emergency, you may be eligible for an emergency proxy. Find the relevant application forms here.

Voter ID Requirement:

Starting from elections on May 4, 2023, voters must show valid photo ID at a polling station. Learn about acceptable forms and how to obtain free photo ID here.

Proxy's Voting Process:

Your proxy will receive a proxy polling letter shortly before the election, showing both your and their details. This letter aids polling station staff but is not compulsory. Your proxy will be issued a secret ballot paper, which they mark in a booth and then place in a sealed ballot box.

Additional Information:

A proxy doesn't have to vote in person at a polling station; they can apply to vote by post.

  • Existing proxies wishing to vote by post should contact Electoral Services.

For any queries or assistance, contact Electoral Services at the provided number.

Make your voice heard even when you can't be present – vote by proxy and actively participate in Nottingham's democratic process.

The below video provides a step-by-step guide on voting by Proxy.

Please note this video was created before the introduction of voter ID.

Welcome to Your Vote - Someone else voting on your behalf. England (

For further information please contact Electoral Services

Contact us

Electoral Services 
Loxley House Station 
Street Nottingham 

Tel: 0115 876 4111

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