Postal and Proxy Voting
If you are unable to get to the polling station on polling day you can apply for a postal or proxy vote (absent vote). More information about both methods of voting and common questions can be found below.
- Postal Voting
- What is a postal vote?
- Who can have a postal vote?
- How do I apply for a postal vote?
- How do I complete my postal vote?
- Can I complete a postal vote on behalf of someone else?
- When will I receive my postal vote?
- I haven't received my postal vote for this election/referendum
- I haven't posted my postal vote back in time
- I have damaged/lost the envelope I was supposed to post the postal vote back in
- I have damaged, torn or spoilt my postal vote ballot paper/postal voting statement
- I have torn off the perforated postal voting statement attached to envelope A, what should I do
- I have received a postal vote rejection notification letter
- Proxy Voting (someone you trust to vote for you on your behalf)
What is a postal vote?
To vote by post means that your ballot paper(s) for an election/referendum would be sent to your home address or another address where you will be staying during an election/referendum. Postal votes are sent out around 5-19 working days before polling day and must be posted back to the Returning/Counting Officer at the Council by polling day or handed, sealed, to the polling station staff on polling day by 10pm to be counted.
Who can have a postal vote?
Postal Voting is available to anyone, whatever their circumstances, and can be granted for definite or indefinite periods or for just one election. If you apply for a postal vote for a particular election please note that will not be able to then vote in person at the polling station. You can also apply for a postal proxy vote, where someone you appoint can vote on your behalf by post.
How do I apply for a postal vote?
If you wish to apply for, change or cancel a postal vote you must contact the Electoral Registration Office in Elgin on 01343 541203 or download an application form from www.votemoray.org Applications for a postal vote can be made for a single election, for a specified period or permanently.
You don’t have to wait for an election/referendum to be announced to apply to vote by post. You can apply at any time, provided you are already on the electoral register, however certain application deadlines will apply before the poll.
How do I complete my postal vote?
Your postal voting pack will contain instructions on how to complete your ballot paper(s) and will also require you to complete a postal vote statement which requires your signature and date of birth. The signed postal voting statement must then be returned with your ballot paper(s) in the envelopes provided for your vote to be valid. These are legal requirements for electoral security. You must be able to sign your name to vote by post. If you can't, you can request a postal vote with a signature waiver.
Can I complete a postal vote on behalf of someone else?
Unless you have been appointed as a Proxy on behalf of that voter can’t complete a postal vote on behalf of another elector, even if you have Power of Attorney (POA). Power of Attorney does not apply to postal voting. It may be more appropriate for a voter to appoint a proxy voter or to apply for a signature waiver if a voter is unable to complete the postal vote themselves. Please contact the Electoral Registration Office for more information on 01343 541203 on other methods of voting.
When will I receive my postal vote?
Postal votes are usually dispatched around 10 working days before the election, please check the main elections web page links for specific information about each election as we will put information here about the timing of the dispatch. Please bear in mind there may be no mail service on bank holidays.
I haven't received my postal vote for this election/referendum
If you have not received your postal vote or you have mislaid it, please contact us, as a replacement can be issued from our Elections office until 5pm on polling day. It can be posted to you, if there is time, or you can collect your replacement postal vote from Elgin. Please contact the Elections Enquiry helpline on 01343 563334 for more information.
When you receive your postal vote, please complete it as soon as you can. If you haven't got enough time to post it back by polling day (remember to allow at least 2 days for posting back via Royal Mail from within the UK) then you can hand your completed postal vote into any Polling Station in Moray or to the Council Office, High Street, Elgin. It must reach the Returning Officer by 10pm on polling day for it be counted.
I have damaged/lost the envelope I was supposed to post the postal vote back in
You can take your postal vote to any of our Access Points in Elgin, Buckie, Forres or Keith up until the day before the poll or post the postal vote back to us, putting a stamp on a plain envelope addressed to Returning Officer, The Moray Council, Council Office, High Street, Elgin, IV30 1BX and making sure you leave enough time to arrive by polling day. Alternatively we can post you a replacement postal vote envelope B if you call our elections helpline on 01343 563334 or email email@example.com up until 3 days before the poll.
I have damaged, torn or spoilt my postal vote ballot paper/postal voting statement
We can replace spoilt or damaged postal votes, please contact our elections helpline on 01343 563334 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, with your name and address and a contact number. DO NOT throw away/destroy your damaged postal vote pack, we will ask you to return it for cancellation.
I have torn off the perforated postal voting statement that is attached to envelope A, what should I do
This does not invalidate your postal vote, simply ensure that you complete your postal voting statement and then paperclip it to the sealed Ballot Paper envelope A. Place the two items in the Return Envelope B ensuring that the Returning Officer's return address at the council shows clearly through the window. You should not be able to see your own postal address.
A postal vote rejection notification letter will be sent to you after an election/referendum, to advise if there was a problem with your postal voting statement when you returned your postal vote. It is important that you complete your own postal voting statement with both your signature and date of birth, as you provided when you applied for the postal vote. Please ensure you take time to complete your postal voting statement clearly and sign it consistently. Take care when completing your date of birth and ensure that you don't put the date that you are signing the postal vote statement by mistake.
You can apply for someone to vote for you, this person is called a 'proxy'. This is where you appoint someone you know and trust to vote on your behalf. If you appoint a proxy to vote for you he/she must be willing to vote on your behalf and eligible themselves to vote.
Proxy voting is available to people who cannot reasonably be expected to attend their polling station at elections because of physical incapacity, employment away from home, or attendance at courses for example. Temporary proxy voting is also available if a voter is away from home temporarily on the date of an election. A reason must be given why you cannot vote in person.
Your proxy will receive a proxy pollcard from the Electoral Registration Officer before election day, enabling him/her to vote at the designated polling station. A postal proxy vote is also available, on application, allowing your proxy to vote by post on your behalf, if they can't get to the polling station.
If you wish to apply for, change or cancel your proxy vote you must contact the Electoral Registration Office in Elgin on 01343 541203 or download an application form from https://www.grampian-vjb.gov.uk/. A proxy can choose to vote at the polling place or via postal vote.