If you are a UK citizen and live outside the UK, British in Europe recommends a vote by proxy to ensure that your vote is counted in a potential general election. That’s simply because the postal systems vary greatly and there’s no foolproof way of checking that your vote has arrived on time, been opened and counted.
So, if you’re living abroad or just on holiday on election day, you can apply to vote by proxy. This means you can nominate someone to vote for you, which is really useful if you’re in a place where the post takes too long or is not reliable. Both you and the person you appoint as your proxy must be registered to vote.
If you live in the country where you want to vote, then it’s important to double check with your local authority that you are registered. We are aware of cases where British citizens have been removed from the voting lists apparently due to a pending Brexit.
Where can I download a proxy form?
The Electoral Commission website is aboutmyvote.co.uk and you can download a proxy vote right here. To apply to vote by proxy in Northern Ireland, you can find the correct form on the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland website.
But what happens if my proxy doesn’t live in the place where I’m registered to vote?
A common concern is that the person you want to nominate in the UK as your proxy doesn’t live in the area where your vote needs to be cast. Not a problem – your proxy can cast your vote by post as the Electoral Commission describes here and your proxy will be sent a proxy poll card to return by post. Get in touch with your Electoral Registration Office at your local council or authority to sort this out – as it will likely take a little time, we recommend getting on with it ASAP.
Where do I find my local electoral registration office?
If you’re not sure where you are registered in the UK then you can check here with the local electoral registration office.