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Apply for a proxy vote

apply to vote by proxies

What is a proxy vote?

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 for a proxy, but it is only available for specific reasons, for example such as:

  • travelling
  • living away from home
  • disability
  • sickness

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 (section nine) of the  Application to vote by proxy in England based on disability (PDF) [220KB]   to find out more about who can support your application.

You must get support for your application if you're applying:

  • for a permanent proxy vote because you have a long term illness or disability
  • for a permanent proxy vote because of your employment
  • for a permanent proxy vote for education or study reasons

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

  • applying for a proxy vote for only one election
  • registered blind by a local authority
  • in receipt of one of these benefits:
    • 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
  • registered to vote either as a British citizen living overseas, a Crown Servant or a member of the armed forces

Who can be a proxy?

You can appoint anyone as a 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 requires a postal vote, your appointed proxy will need to complete the application form before 5pm, 11 working days before polling day.

A proxy cannot act for more than a maximum of four electors. These can be two domestic electors and two overseas electors.

How to apply for a permanent proxy vote

Before you make your application check that you are using the correct form that bests reflects your circumstances.

Application forms for a permanent proxy vote where you will need a support of a qualified person are:

You can return your completed application 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 before 5pm, six working days before polling day.

How to apply for a one-off election or referendum

You can apply online for proxy vote (opens new window)  if you applying for a one-off election or referendum. If you do not wish to apply online, you can complete the Application to vote by proxy in England at a particular election (PDF) [107KB] return it to Electoral Services.

You can return your completed application 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 before 5pm, six working days before polling day.

How to apply for an emergency proxy vote

If you find out you'll be away from home on polling day due to work, have a medical emergency that means you cannot go to the polling station in person or the photographic ID you were using to vote has been lost or stolen, you can apply for an emergency proxy up to 5pm on the day of the poll.

Whichever reason, whether work, medical or lost/stolen photo ID, 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'll need to complete an application form to arrange the emergency proxy, which can be downloaded from the electoral commission website (opens new window) , 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 deliver it to a member of the Electoral Services Team at the council offices. 

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

Medical emergency

A medical professional who is treating you must sign your application form.

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. 

Lost/stolen photo ID

This does not have to be supported but the reason for the application must be given.

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, 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 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 need to show their own photo ID at the polling station but should take the proxy poll card with them to help the staff working at the polling station