If you're over 18 and have registered to vote, you can apply for a postal vote.
You may find it easier to vote this way if you have difficulty getting to the polling station on election day, or work away from home.
Apply for a postal vote
You can download an application form
You'll need to give your date of birth and signature on the application form, and again when you use your postal vote. This helps to make sure your vote is secure.
Any new postal vote application form must be received by the electoral team no later than 5pm, 11 working days before an election.
Postal votes are usually sent out about a week before election day.
When you want to vote
Once you've decided who you want to vote for:
- Complete the ballot paper on your own
- Don't let anyone else vote for you
- Don't let anyone else see your vote
- Don't give the ballot paper to anyone else
- Put the ballot paper in the smaller envelope and seal it up yourself
- Complete and sign the postal voting statement
- Put the postal voting statement and the smaller envelope containing your ballot paper into the larger envelope and seal it
Postal votes should be returned by close of poll on election day, usually 10pm.
If you don't receive your postal vote by election day, contact the electoral team for a replacement. You must do this before 5pm. You won't be issued a new ballot paper at a polling station.
When you return your postal vote
If you can, post it yourself. If you can't do that, give it to somebody you know and trust to post it for you, or ring us to see if someone can collect if from you.
If you miss the post, you can hand deliver your postal ballot pack to Mercury House, one our community offices or at a polling station.
- Hand it to a candidate or party worker
- Leave it where someone else can pick it up
If anyone tries to help you against your will, or forces you to give them your postal vote, you should contact the police.
Proxy voting by post
A proxy who is unable to attend the allocated polling station can apply to vote by post. Both the proxy application and the postal proxy application must be completed.
- An application for a postal proxy can be downloaded here
- Postal proxy voting applications must be received by the electoral team no later than 5pm on the date specified for that election
- The postal ballot packs will then be sent to the proxy between five and eight working days for you to complete and return by close of poll on election day
Postal voting fraud
There has never been any evidence of organised postal voting fraud in Richmondshire. Here are some safeguards we have in place:
- Every request for a postal vote is checked against our computer records of electors
- A request for a postal vote is turned down if the application form isn't signed or if a date of birth isn't provided
- We write back to everyone who arranges a postal vote
- The provision of a signature and date of birth is there to prevent fraud
- Signatures and dates of birth on postal vote statements and original applications will be cross-checked
What you can do
- Let us know if your postal voting pack doesn't arrive
- Keep your voting pack in a safe place if you're not voting straight away
- When you vote, keep it secret
- If you can, post it back yourself
- Don't give your pack to someone else unless you trust them
- If you decide not to vote, never give your pack to someone else: dispose of your pack safely
- Tell us if you move, so your postal voting details can be kept up to date
The returning officer's staff don't come to collect postal votes.