Voting by post

Apply for a postal vote

If you would like to vote by post, you can apply online at GOV.UK.

We must receive your postal vote application by 5pm, 11 working days before polling day.

As part of the measures introduced by the Elections Act 2022 you will now need to provide:

  • Your date of birth, and
  • Your National Insurance number

This will then need to be verified against government records. This is an anti-fraud measure to protect the integrity of the postal voting system.

You will also need to provide a copy of your signature.

When you apply online you will need to upload a clear version of your signature. If you are taking a photo, please ensure the following:

  • The image of your signature must be clear
  • There should be no shadows over the signature

If you are unable to apply online, you can download a PDF version or contact us for a paper version.

Written confirmation will be sent to you once your application has been processed.

View easy read guidance about voting by post.

If you cannot provide a signature

The Electoral Registration Officer may grant you a waiver, which will mean that you will not be required to provide a signature (your date of birth and National Insurance number are still required) if you are:

  • Unable to sign in a consistent or distinctive way because of any disability
  • Unable to read or write

It is illegal to sign the application on behalf of anyone else. Please contact Electoral Services for further information about applying for a signature waiver.

Sending postal votes abroad

Ballot papers can be sent outside the UK (if, for example, you are going on holiday), however, they could be sent out only about 7 to 10 days before an election.

You are strongly advised to appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf instead of asking for your postal vote to be sent abroad.

Proxy voting is also advised if you will be away from your ballot paper address around election time, as we cannot guarantee that your postal vote will arrive before you leave.

If you are a British citizen living overseas, you can find out more information on voting from abroad.

Updating your postal vote arrangement

If you already have a postal voting arrangement in place and would like to make an amendment, for example, you have updated your signature or you would like your ballot paper sent to another address, the simplest way is to reapply online at GOV.UK.

Moving to a new address

You will need to complete a new application to register to vote (GOV.UK) if you have moved to a new address. You will also need to complete a new application to vote by post if you want to continue voting in this way.

Cancel a postal vote

Requests to cancel existing postal voting arrangements must reach us by 5pm, 11 working days before an election to be actioned for that election.

The quickest and easiest way to cancel a postal vote is to complete our online form.

You cannot submit this request on behalf of anyone else.

Alternatively, you can post a written request to Electoral Services, ensuring that you include:

  • Your signature, and
  • Date of birth

Written confirmation will be sent to you once your request has been processed.

Using your postal vote

You cannot vote in person at a polling station if you have successfully applied to vote by post, however, you can take your complete postal ballot pack (ballot paper and accompanying postal voting statement) to a Wandsworth polling station on polling day between 7am and 10pm where you will also need to complete a further declaration.

Receiving and returning your postal vote ballot pack

Your postal vote pack will be delivered to the address specified on your application.

It will contain a postal voting statement and relevant ballot paper(s). The statement will need to be signed by you, unless a signature waiver has been granted by the Electoral Registration Officer. You will also be required to give your date of birth. It is illegal to sign a postal voting statement on behalf of anyone else.

Your complete postal ballot pack (ballot paper and accompanying postal voting statement) can be returned in one of the following ways:

If you deliver your postal vote to a polling station or the Town Hall, you will need to complete a further declaration.

All postal ballot packs must be received by 10pm on polling day to be included in the count.

Lost postal vote pack

If you have lost or not received your postal vote pack you can request a replacement. By law, the earliest date that you can request a replacement is four working days before polling day. The deadline to apply for a replacement postal vote pack is 5pm on polling day. Contact Electoral Services for further information.

Spoiled ballot paper

If you mark the wrong box or make a mistake you can still use your ballot paper. If this happens, please scribble out the incorrect mark(s) and mark the paper in a way that clearly shows your intention. Do not use correction fluid. Do not initial the changes otherwise your vote will not be counted.

You can fill in your ballot paper with any colour ink, as long as your voting intention is clear.

If a replacement ballot paper is required, you can apply for one up until 5pm on polling day. Contact Electoral Services for further information.

Problems with your signature

If you need to rewrite your signature please scribble out the incorrect signature and sign in another space on the postal voting statement.

If you sign outside the signature box this will not invalidate your postal vote. If your signature appears on the postal voting statement, we will manually verify against your existing information.

Problems with your date of birth

If you write the incorrect date on your postal voting statement, you can still use it to vote. Please cross out the incorrect date and write your date of birth in another space on the postal voting statement. We will manually verify this against your existing information.

Damaged or lost envelopes

Damaged envelopes can be mended with sticky tape, for example if you had to unseal the envelope to correct a mistake. If you have misplaced or are unable to use the original envelope, you can replace it with any other one you have. Please ensure that you:

  • Address it to 'The Returning Officer, London Borough of Wandsworth, Town Hall, Wandsworth High Street, London SW18 9TE'
  • Write 'POSTAL VOTE ENVELOPE B' in large letters somewhere on the envelope so it can be identified
  • Add a stamp if you are posting it back to us

Easy read guidance

View easy read guidance about voting by post produced by My Vote My Voice.

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