Voting by proxy

Proxy voting is where you appoint someone you trust (a proxy) to vote for you.

Who can apply for a proxy vote?

Anyone may apply to vote by proxy, but it is only available for specific reasons (such as, travelling, living away from home, disability, sickness, etc).

You may need a doctor, nurse, carer, employer or other qualified person to support your application to confirm that the reason you are applying is valid. See page two of the  icon application form [202.58KB] (section 9) to find out more about who can support your application.

You must get support for your application if you:

  • are applying for a permanent proxy vote because you have a long term illness or disability
  • are applying for a permanent proxy vote because of your employment or education.

You do not need someone to support your application if you:

  1. are applying for a proxy vote for only one election

  2. are registered blind by a local authority

  3. are in receipt of one of these benefit payments:
    • a higher rate of the mobility component of a disability living allowance
    • the enhanced rate of the mobility component of the personal independence payment
    • an armed forces independence payment
  4. are registered to vote as either a British citizen living overseas, a Crown Servant or a member of the armed forces.

How to apply for a proxy vote

To apply for a proxy vote, download and fill in the  icon Proxy Voting application form [202.58KB]

Return your completed form by:

  • post to: Electoral Services, Guildford Borough Council, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford, GU2 4BB
  • email to: electoralservices@guildford.gov.uk. Your application form must be sent as a clear, scanned email attachment, and it must be signed by hand
  • delivering it to the council offices in person

The deadline to apply to vote by proxy at any election or referendum is by 5pm, six working days before polling day.

Apply for an emergency proxy vote

If you find out you will be away from home on polling day due to work, or you have a medical emergency that means you cannot go to the polling station in person, you can apply for an emergency proxy up to 5pm on the day of the poll.

Whichever reason, whether work or medical emergency related, the event must have taken place after 5pm, six working days before polling day (after the deadline to apply to vote by 'ordinary' proxy).

You will need to complete an application form to arrange the emergency proxy, which can be downloaded from www.yourvotematters.co.uk, or contact Electoral Services for one. You need to submit your form to the Electoral Services team before 5pm on the day of poll. You can either email your form to electoralservices@guildford.gov.uk, or drop it off in person at the council offices. 

The person you appoint must be able to attend your designated polling station to vote for you.

Medical emergency

A medical professional must sign your application form. If you live in a residential care home or sheltered accommodation, the warden or head of home can support your application.

Work related emergency

Your application form must be signed by your employer or, if you are self-employed, a qualified elector over 18 years of age who is not a relative. 

Who can be a proxy?

You can appoint anyone as your proxy, as long as they are:

  • over 18 years old
  • eligible to vote in the election/referendum
  • registered to vote themselves
  • able to travel to your designated polling station in Guildford (unless they apply to vote by post as proxy. If your appointed proxy will require a postal proxy application form, please tick section 5, and we will send them the relevant application form. Your proxy must return their postal proxy application form to the office by 5pm, 11 working days before polling day.)

A proxy cannot act for more than two people at any one election/referendum, unless they are a close relative (defined as your spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild).

How long does a proxy vote arrangement last?

You can choose to appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf either permanently, for a specific time period or for a particular election/referendum.

Important notes for proxy voters

  • If you change address, you will need to make a new application to vote by proxy - voting preferences are not carried forward to a new address.
  • Even if you have a proxy vote, you can still vote at the polling station on the day as long as your proxy doesn't have a postal vote for you, or they have already voted for you.

  • The person who is the proxy will receive a proxy poll card prior to polling day with details of where to go to vote, anytime between 7am and 10pm (unless the proxy has a postal vote).

  • If your proxy has not received the proxy poll card, please contact Electoral Services who will be able to give details of where to go.

  • The proxy does not need to show any ID at the polling station, but taking the proxy poll card may help staff working at the polling station.