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Voting by post

If you are over 18 and have registered to vote[external link], you can apply for a postal vote. You do not need a reason to vote by post, however you may find it easier to vote by post if you have difficulty getting to the polling station on the day of an election, or work away from home.  

How can I apply for a postal vote?

You can apply online through GOV.UK website 

Apply for a postal vote

Alternatively, you can download, print and complete an application to vote by post [external link], request a form from the Elections Office or apply in person by contacting the helpline on 01325 406444 or e-mailing [email protected] Completed forms to be returned to the Elections Office, Darlington Borough Council, Town Hall, Darlington, DL1 5QT.

You will need to provide your date of birth, national insurance number and signature to apply.  You will also need to provide your date of birth and signature on the postal vote.  This helps to ensure the security of your vote and is used to tackle electoral fraud.

A postal vote can be sent to your home address, or to any other address that you give. Postal votes can be sent overseas, but you need to consider whether there will be enough time to receive and return your postal vote by election day.

A new application to vote by post must be completed and returned to the office no later than 5pm, 11 working days before the election you want to vote for.

Applications to vote by post must be renewed every three years.  You will be contacted when your postal vote is about to expire and requested to re-apply.  If you do not re-apply your postal vote will be cancelled.

When will I receive my postal vote?

Postal votes are usually sent out about a week before election day. When you receive your postal vote put the paperwork somewhere safe, don't let anyone else handle your voting papers, and make sure they are not left where someone else can pick them up.

When you want to vote:

Once you have decided who you wish to vote for:

  • complete the ballot paper on your own
  • don't let anyone else vote for you
  • don't let anyone else see your vote
  • don't give the ballot paper to anyone else
  • put the ballot paper in the smaller envelope and seal it up yourself
  • complete and sign the postal voting statement
  • put the postal voting statement and the smaller envelope containing your ballot paper into the larger envelope and seal it.

Postal votes should be returned by close of poll on the day of an election (usually 10pm). If it arrives later than this your vote won’t be counted.

If you do not receive your postal vote by the date of an election, you should contact us for a replacement - you must do this before 5pm on election day.

When you return your postal vote:

If you can, take your postal vote to the post box yourself. If you are unable to do that, either give it to somebody you know and trust to post it for you, or ring us to see if someone can collect it from you.

DON’T hand it to a candidate or party worker.

DON’T leave it where someone else can pick it up.

If anyone tries to help you against your will, or force you to give them your postal vote, you should contact the Police.

Remember that this is your vote - so keep it to yourself!

If you miss the post you can hand in your postal vote and the postal vote of up to five others at the council offices or any any polling station before 10.00 p.m. on election day.  You will be provided with a form which you must complete for the postal vote(s) you are handing in to be accepted.

Do not put any postal votes in the letter box at the council offices as they will be rejected.


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