How to vote

What to do at the polling station, how to vote by proxy or by post and how to find a polling station.

Vote by proxy

Proxy voting is where you choose someone you trust (a proxy) to vote for you because you are unable to do so yourself. 

The person who can act as your proxy:

  • must be registered to vote
  • cannot vote on behalf of more than 
    • two people, if registered domestically, or
    • four people (two registered overseas, two registered domestically)

If you nominate a proxy, the person you choose to vote on your behalf will need to show their own photo ID if they are voting at a polling station.

Proxy voting by post

You must already have a proxy vote in place before your proxy can apply to cast the vote by post.

To find out more information regarding applications for a postal proxy vote please email

Applying for a proxy vote

New rules regarding the absent vote application process mean we must now verify your identity when applying to vote by post; this requires you to provide your national insurance number. 

If you do not have a National Insurance number, you will need to explain why.  You can then upload alternative documents that will help us verify your application.

The following proxy applications are available to complete online:

  • proxy application for a particular election
  • proxy applications for a definite or indefinite period for overseas and service voters

If you require a permanent proxy due to disability, employment or education please contact as you cannot apply online for these types of proxies.

How to apply

You can make an application to vote by proxy using the secure Government portal.

Apply for a proxy vote on

You will need to provide the following information:

  • Full name
  • Address including post code
  • National insurance number
  • Date of birth
  • Handwritten signature

How to upload a signature photo

You will need to upload a picture of your signature; the website will advise you on how to provide and upload this.  

Your signature must be:

  • in focus
  • without shadows
  • without anything showing in the background
  • the right way up

Apply with a paper application

If you are unable to apply online, you can download an application form. The paper application requires the same information, and you will still need to provide your national insurance number on the paper application.

The completed form can be scanned and emailed to

You can also return it to us by hand or by post to:

Electoral Services 
Newcastle City Council
Civic Centre
Barras Bridge  
Newcastle upon Tyne

If you do not have a printer, you can contact Electoral Services so we can send you a paper application; email or call 0191 278 7878 and ask for Electoral Services.

Proxy votes at an election period

The deadline to apply for a proxy vote is 5pm, 6 working days prior to an election or referendum. If you are already registered to vote by post, the deadline to change from a postal vote to a proxy vote is 5pm, 11 working days before polling day.

Emergency proxy

You can apply for an emergency proxy if you find that you cannot get to your polling station on election day. This is for exceptional circumstances when the proxy deadline has already passed, and the emergency happened after the deadline.

Reasons for emergency proxy could be:

There are certain circumstances where you may be able to apply for an emergency proxy due to not having valid photo ID - please see section 3a on the form to apply for an emergency proxy based on photo ID.

The deadline to apply for an emergency proxy is by 5pm on election day.