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Methods of Voting

Voting by post is changing

As of 31 October 2023, the way you apply to vote by post or proxy has changed. You will now need to provide your National Insurance number as well as your date of birth to verify applications. Applications will be valid for 3 years.
You will now be asked to apply via the GOV.UK website. Paper forms can be downloaded from the same link, or available on request for those unable to access the website.

There are also changes to postal vote handling. You should return your completed postal vote in a Royal Mail Post box wherever possible and there are restrictions on where you can hand them in personally. Please see below for more information.

Voting in Person 

If you do not choose an absent vote, you will be able to vote in your assigned local polling station. Due to availability, your usual Polling Station may have changed this year. Please check your poll card for any changes & use our Polling Station finder tool below.

Please note , from May 2023 it is a legal requirement to present Photo ID in order to obtain a ballot paper to vote. Please see our Voter ID section for more information on what will be accepted and how to obtain adequate documentation to vote if you don’t have any ID.

Accessibility of Polling Stations

Polling stations are accessible, or will have measures in place to ensure you can cast your vote.

If you can see on your poll card or using the polling station finder above that your polling station is a temporary building, please contact your to find out more about the accessibility of the building, though it is likely just shorter on space.

Some polling stations may have temporary ramps to assist with entering and leaving the building.

Parking and disabled parking may be provided if it is available at the polling station, but this may not always be the case.


All polling stations have a large Polling Station sign attached outside. Additional signage may also be used to provide clear directions outside and / or inside the building.

Polling station staff

If you have any questions or need any help, please ask a member of polling station staff. They can help with questions about voter id and voting.

Polling station equipment

The following equipment will be provided in your polling station.

Polling booths to allow you to cast your vote in secret, including a polling booth which is accessible to wheelchair users. A screen, private area or separate room if you want to show your photographic voter ID in private. Appropriate / additional lighting, a seat for your use if needed, pencils including large chunky pencils for you to mark your ballot paper. You can bring you own pencil or pen if you would prefer. Magnifiers to increase the size of text on the ballot paper.

Assistance with voting

A large sample copy of the ballot paper will be displayed in your polling station and a sample hand held copy will be available for you to take into the polling booth to use if needed.

A tactile voting device to assist visually impaired voters to mark their vote on a ballot paper will be available. You may use any specialist devices or Apps in the polling station that assist you to cast your vote independently. For example, speech apps, video magnifiers.

You may take your assistance animal with you into the polling station.

You can also ask the Presiding Officer for assistance, if needed. This includes asking the Presiding Officer to mark the ballot paper for you. The Presiding Officer will need to complete a form to record they have assisted you to vote.

You may bring a companion with you to help you cast your vote. The companion must be aged 18 or over (but the companion does not need to be registered to vote). A companion can only assist up to two people at the same local election. The Presiding Officer will need to complete a form where a companion assists a disabled voter, and the companion must sign a simple declaration.

If you have any questions about accessibility or would like us to consider any further measures at your station, please call us on 0161 342 8355.


Voting by Post 

If you cannot get to the polling station, you can apply to vote by post instead. Voting by post is secure and safe and you will mark your vote on the ballot paper in secret, sealing the envelope yourself.
 Postal ballot papers are usually dispatched within 10 working days prior to the Election / Referendum & the deadline for applications is strictly 11 working days prior to the election. 
 To ensure voting by post is secure, you will need to provide your Date of Birth and Signature, also known as your personal identifiers. When the postal ballot paper has been returned, the personal identifiers are compared with the ones you used on the postal vote application. When the personal identifiers are compared the ballot paper remains sealed, so giving this information will not affect the secrecy of your vote.

Postal Vote Application Form

Postal Vote Application Form

Click here to register for a postal vote.

You must be registered to vote in order to apply for a postal vote. The quickest and easiest way is to apply online using the link above. There are also paper forms available to download by following the above link. These can be sent back to the Elections Office, address below.
 Postal votes are valid for a maximum of 3 years. After this time, they will expire, and you will need to submit a new application. You should also submit a new application in the event of a change in signature.

You should return your postal pack in a Royal Mail post box.  From 2024, new legislation means that you can only return your postal vote in person by completing a form at the Elections Office (anytime up to and including election day) or to your polling station on election day. They must not be handed in anywhere else or pushed through any council letterbox or they will be rejected.

If you are returning completed packs on someone else’s behalf, you will now only be able to return your own, plus up to 5 more, and will need to complete a form. Campaigners cannot handle completed packs.

Voting by Proxy

If you are unable to make it to your Poll Station on Polling day you can nominate someone to act as a proxy on your behalf. The nominated proxy will have to go to your Polling Station. 

Proxy Vote Application Form

Proxy Vote Application Form

Click here to register for a postal vote.


To nominate someone as your proxy for a particular election, you can now complete the proxy vote application online. Overseas electors can also use this link to set up a long-term proxy arrangement. If you are a domestic elector and require a long-term proxy vote for a particular reason, you must complete the relevant form (can be found on the above link) and return it to the Electoral Services. 

You must be registered to vote in order to apply for a proxy vote. For select emergency situations, we may be able to offer an emergency proxy vote up to the poll date. This must be something that you weren't aware of before the normal proxy vote deadline.

The number of people a person can act as a proxy for is now limited to 4 (no more than 2 domestic and 2 overseas / service voters). The person acting as proxy must be registered to vote themselves and be able to present their own valid Photo ID.

Contact information

Send us a message
0161 342 8355
Electoral Services
Town Hall
King Street
SK16 4LA
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