How to apply
Electors who are registered individually on the current Register of electors but who do not want to vote in person at the polling station - whether they are unable to get there or simply prefer not to do so - can apply for a postal vote.
An elector can apply for a postal vote in respect of elections to be held on a certain date (for example, if you will be away on holiday) or ask for an automatic postal vote on a permanent basis or for a given period.
Download, print and post an application form from page www.yourvotematters.co.uk.
You are advised to read all the information contained on this page before proceeding to apply to vote by post.
- A separate application form is required for each person.
- The application is a legal document and as such it must be signed by the person concerned.
- If you are unable to download or print the form please contact this office by phone 01684 272025 or email and we will send a form to you in the post. Please do not forget to give your full name and address.
- Electors who wish to vote by post are required to provide their date of birth and a specimen of their signature on their initial application form. These personal identifiers will be stored securely. Each time you vote by post, your signature and your date of birth will be checked against those provided by you on the Witness Statement (also known as the postal voting statement) enclosed with your ballot paper(s). This procedure enables us to ensure that your postal vote remains secure. Failure or refusal to provide the required personal identifiers will mean that you will not be able to vote by post.
- If you have a disability which means that you cannot sign in a distinctive or consistent way, or you are unable to read or write, the electoral registration officer may grant you an exemption (known as a signature waiver), which will mean that you will not be required to provide a signature. You can apply for an exemption by completing the appropriate section on the postal voting application form, including a reason why a signature cannot be included on the form. If someone has helped you to complete the form they must give their name and address and must also sign the application form. Please note that Power of Attorney or pp signatures are not valid for voting purposes.
If you are registered to vote within the Tewkesbury borough area, then completed applications should be returned to:
Electoral Services, Tewkesbury Borough Council, Public Services Centre, Gloucester Road, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, GL20 5TT. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the address where you are registered to vote is not within the Tewkesbury Borough area, then the completed postal voting application form should be returned to the local council for the appropriate area.
If your personal details change at any time (for example if you change your name), then you will need to re-apply to vote by post and should request a replacement form.
Procedure for postal voting
- You will usually be sent a letter of confirmation once we have received and accepted your application for a postal vote.
- You will be posted a ballot paper approximately 10 days before the date of the election.
- You can ask for the ballot paper to be sent to you at any address you specify (including an address abroad) but it is up to you to make sure that it is returned in time to be counted. No responsibility is accepted for votes delayed or lost in the post. Please note that other people cannot ask for your postal vote to be sent to another address on your behalf, even if they have power of attorney.
- You should mark the ballot paper and complete the witness statement (also known as a postal voting statement) that accompanies it by inputting your date of birth and signature on that document. If you have been allowed a signature waiver as part of your initial postal voting application, you will not be asked for your signature on the witness statement, but you will still be asked for your date of birth.
- If more than one person in your household votes by post, please make sure that you do not mix up your ballot papers and witness statement, since each is unique and allocated to a specific elector.
- Both documents should then be returned in the envelope provided and must be received by the Returning Officer before the close of poll on the day of the election. If you cannot post the documents back in time for them to be received before the close of poll you may deliver them to the Presiding Officer at any polling station within the same electoral area on the day of the election.
Replacing lost/spoiled ballot papers
If you have not received your ballot paper four days before the election, or if you spoil your ballot paper, you should contact this office and they may be able to issue you with a replacement. Replacement postal ballot paper packs have to be placed directly into the hands of the elector by a council representative. Electors are required to sign to confirm that they have received the replacement pack and will also be asked to provide an item of photographic id as proof of identity.
Cancelling a postal vote
Please note that there are deadlines for amending/cancelling your postal vote in the run up to an election. Further details are provided below.
If you have applied for, and been granted, a postal vote but you now decide that you want to go to the polling station and vote in person, you must tell us in writing. The letter must be signed by you. We cannot accept requests to cancel a postal vote either by telephone, fax or e-mail.
Unless we receive notice cancelling your postal vote by 5 pm, 11 days before the day appointed for election, a ballot paper will automatically be sent to you by post. You will not be able to vote at the polling station (but you can hand in the envelope containing your postal vote at the polling station if you have been unable to send it back beforehand).
If it is not practical for you to use a postal vote (e.g. if you will be away when they will be sent out, or, if your ballot paper will not reach you time) and if the deadline for cancelling your postal vote in the run up to an election has not passed, you may appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf. Please contact Electoral Services 01684 272025 in order to discuss this further. Further information on proxy voting can also be found on this web site.
Tewkesbury Borough Council,
Public Services Centre,
Phone: 01684 272025
Fax: 01684 272040
If you require this information in an alternative format or language please contact Electoral Services on 01684 272025 and we will do our best to help.