Postal voting

How postal voting works

Postal voting is a facility for any registered elector who cannot attend a polling station on election day or who feels that to vote by post is more convenient for them.

You can apply to vote by post for:

  • a particular election on a specified date
  • for a defined period
  • for a maximum period of up to 3 years

A postal vote can be sent to the voter’s home address or to an address where they expect to be on election day.   

If you move home, you will need register to vote at your new address and complete a new postal vote application if you wish to continue voting by post.

How to apply for a postal vote

When you apply for a postal vote you will need to provide your name, address, date of birth, national insurance number and a signature. This information is used to check you are a registered elector, confirm your identity and provides security for your postal vote pack.

To apply for a postal vote you can either fill in an online form at GOV.UK or download an application form to print off from the Electoral Commission and complete at home, this will then need to be posted to:

Electoral Registration

West Lindsey District Council

Guildhall

Marshall's Yard

Gainsborough

DN21 2NA

We can accept postal vote applications via email at ereg@west-lindsey.gov.uk but the scanned image or photo of the application form must be sent as an attachment to the email.

If you having difficulty completing the online application or cannot download a paper application, please contact us at ereg@west-lindsey.gov.uk or call 01427 676576 and we will be happy to help.

The deadline for receipt of completed postal applications is no later than 5pm, 11 working days before an election.

Voting from Overseas

If you want a postal vote to be sent to an overseas address you should be confident that the postal services can deliver it to you and return it to our offices in the UK no later than 10pm on election day. If you are not sure that this can be done, you may wish to consider a proxy vote.

You should also note that if you have asked for the postal vote pack to be sent overseas, the return envelope addressed to the Returning Officer will not be prepaid.

Getting your vote in on time

Due to the election timetable and printing deadlines, it is not normally possible to send out postal vote packs to UK addresses any earlier than ten working days before the date of the election.  It may be possible to send to overseas destinations earlier than this but it is not guaranteed.

Once you receive your postal vote pack, don’t delay, complete and return it using the prepaid envelope.   

If you receive your postal pack close to election day and are unsure if it will be received by the Returning Officer by 10pm on election day, you or someone on your behalf (but not a political campaigner or candidate unless they are your family), can hand in your postal vote envelope at either of the following locations:

Please note that for elections held on or after 2 May 2024, if you hand in your postal vote envelope (and any others, up to a maximum of 6 including your own) you will need to complete a form giving your details.  Failure to complete the form will mean all the postal vote envelopes are rejected.

Any postal vote envelopes posted into the letterbox at the Guildhall will also be rejected.

Anyone issued with a postal vote will not be allowed to vote in person at a polling station even if the postal vote has not arrived. Replacements for lost or spoilt postal packs can be issued from 5 workings days prior to an election and up to 5pm on election day. You will need to produce proof of identity if the postal pack has not arrived and for replacement packs issued on election day you will need to collect them from the offices in Marshall’s Yard, Gainsborough. For more information please contact us at ereg@west-lindsey.gov.uk or call 01427 676576.