Voting by post

If you cannot get to your local polling station on the day of an election you can vote by post.

Anyone whose name appears on the register of electors can apply to vote by post. No special qualifications or requirements are necessary. If you want to vote by post at any or all elections you can apply to do so.

Applications to vote by post or to cancel existing postal votes for the 6 May 2021 elections must be received by Tuesday 20 April at 5pm.

Apply for a postal vote

You will need to complete and sign a postal vote application form.

Icon for pdf Postal Voting Application form [107.8KB]

We have put together some guidance notes to help you. 

You should then send it to:

Electoral Registration Officer
Uttlesford District Council
London Road
Saffron Walden
CB11 4ER

You can apply for a postal vote:

  • for one election
  • for a set period of time
  • permanently, until you tell us otherwise

After you have applied

We will let you know if your postal vote application has been successful, though there may not always be enough time to do this just before an election.

We will then  send your postal voting papers out to you around two weeks before the election.

How to vote by post

Your postal vote must reach us by 10pm on election day.

You can post your postal vote using the envelope provided or hand it in at your polling station on election day.  You must hand it in at the polling station you usually vote at.

One-off postal voting

Provided you are registered, you can apply for a postal vote for a specific election by filling in an application form. Applications can be made at any time of the year up to the closing date and you should apply as soon as you know you cannot get to the polling station on polling day.

Postal voting for a set period

You can arrange to vote by post for a set period, e.g. a year. For example, university students can apply for a postal vote so they can vote in their home area. You will then automatically be able to vote by post at any election during this set period.

Postal votes for students

If you're a student, you may be able to register to vote at both your home address and your term-time address.

If you request a postal vote you need to make sure it goes to where you want it - either to your home address or your university address.

You can only vote once in a national poll, such as a general election. At local elections, if your home and university addresses are in two different local authority areas, you can vote in in both areas. This is because they are separate elections.

Permanent postal vote

You can apply for a postal vote to last for as long as you like. To end this arrangement simply let us know in writing.

If you elect to vote by post, you cannot then go in person to the polling station to vote. You can however, hand your postal vote into the polling station if you have not posted it back to us. This must be either the polling station at which you would otherwise vote, or a polling station within the same electoral area.

Please remember that if you move house your postal vote will cease when you are removed from the register at the address at which you were living when the postal vote was granted. You will need to apply for a new one when re-registering at a new address even if this continues to be within the district.

Anti-fraud measures

Because of concerns about fraudulent practices related to postal voting in some areas at previous elections the Government introduced some new requirements in the Electoral Administration Act 2006. It is therefore necessary, when applying for a postal vote, to provide your date of birth and a specimen signature (known as personal identifiers). If you are unable to supply a signature please contact electoral services at the council for further advice.

You will be required to provide these again when sending in your postal vote and the identifiers will have to be renewed after five years. The two sets of identifiers will be compared when the postal votes are opened to ensure that they match. If they don't, the returning officer will reject the vote.


Additional information

► Find out more about how to vote on the Your Vote Matters website

► Read our Electoral Services Privacy Notice to see what we do with your personal information.