Vote by post

How it works

You can apply to vote by post if you are unable to go to your polling station on election day, or if you simply prefer to vote by post.

You can request a postal application form at any time of the year.

The deadline for the receipt of postal vote application form is 5pm, 11 working days before the day of an election.

If you live overseas, consider how long it may take your postal vote to arrive as this could affect us receiving your vote in time to be counted. 

You may wish to apply for a proxy vote instead.

Apply for a postal vote

To apply for a postal vote, you must complete the postal voter application process.

There are two ways to apply to vote by post. The easiest way is online.

Apply online

Apply for a postal vote on the GOV.UK website

As part of the measures introduced by the Elections Act 2022 you will now need to provide:

  • your date of birth
  • your National Insurance number

This will then need to be verified against government records. This is an anti-fraud measure to protect the integrity of the postal voting system.

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

You must make sure that your signature is:

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

Postal vote 4 signatures example

Sign your name exactly as you normally would in black ink on plain white paper. Do not use:

  • coloured inks
  • coloured paper 
  • paper that’s creased
  • paper with lines, squares or patterns

Postal vote 2 signatures example image

Download and return a paper application form

You can apply for a postal vote for a specific time period or for a maximum of up to three years.

Once you have completed your application form, you can return it to us in the post or by email.

We can accept a photograph or a scanned image of your postal vote application form. Please send the completed form to

If you are sending an electronic copy, please make sure that the image is of good quality and that your signature is clear.

Download a postal vote application

How postal voting works

Your postal vote pack will be delivered to the address specified on your application.

It will contain a postal voting statement and relevant ballot paper(s).

The statement will need to be signed by you, unless a signature waiver has been granted by the Electoral Registration Officer.

You will also be required to give your date of birth. It is illegal to sign a postal voting statement on behalf of anyone else.

Your complete postal ballot pack (ballot paper and accompanying postal voting statement) can be returned in one of the following ways.

  1. Post it using the pre-paid envelope provided (remember to send it in good time as it must reach us by 10pm on polling day).
  2. Deliver it to Havering Town Hall by 10pm on polling day.
  3. Deliver it to a Havering Polling Station on polling day (between 7am and 10pm).

Important changes regarding the hand-delivery of postal votes

The law has changed and you now must complete a form if you hand deliver your postal ballot papers to the town hall or a polling station.

Voters can hand in their postal ballot papers in the town hall from 9am to 5pm during normal office hours or, at any polling station in the borough before 10pm on polling day.

There is a limit to the number of postal votes someone can hand deliver.

You can hand in your own postal vote and postal votes for up to 5 other voters.

A political campaigner can only hand in their postal vote plus the votes of up to 5 family members or people for whom they provide regular care.

When postal votes are hand-delivered, a form must be completed and attached to the postal vote. Staff at the town hall or at the polling station will provide you with this form.

Please allow extra time to do this when hand-delivering postal votes.

If the person who hand delivers a form does not complete a form to accompany postal votes, the vote will be rejected.

All postal ballot packs must be received by 10pm on polling day to be included in the count.

Cancelling or amending your postal vote

To cancel a postal vote, you must submit a request in writing to Election Services ensuring that you include your signature, and date of birth.

You cannot submit this request on behalf of anyone else.

Written confirmation will be sent to you once your request has been processed.

Requests to cancel existing postal voting arrangements must reach us by 5pm, 11 working days before an election to be actioned for that election.

Moving to an new address

You will need to complete a new application to register to vote if you have moved to a new address.

You will also need to complete a new application to vote by post if you want to continue voting in this way.