Date Published: 23 March 2021
It has never been easier to apply for a postal or proxy vote – not even needing to leave home to post the application.
With elections taking place on May 6 for Lincolnshire county councillors, the Office of Police & Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire, a District Councillor in Bassingham and Brant Broughton and other local polls in Bracebridge Heath and Sleaford, now is the time to choose how you want to cast your vote.
The Council is doing everything it can to make voting at a polling station as safe as possible, putting in place requirements similar to those you experience when you go shopping, such as face coverings, hand sanitiser and safe distancing. Voters should anticipate the need to queue as these measures will slow the process.
You are asked to go alone and to take your own pen or pencil to the polling station for extra Covid-safe certainty.
There are also opportunities to apply for a postal or proxy vote too, which may be especially appealing to people who are shielding or cautious about going out, or whose work might make it difficult to vote on the day between 7am and 10pm.
Registering to vote
In order to vote you have to be registered to do so at your current address. If you have moved house or become eligible to vote since the last election in December 2019, it is especially important to ensure you are registered. This can be done at www.gov.uk/registertovote before 11.59pm on Monday April 19.
Choosing a postal or proxy vote
Once registered you can then choose to apply for a postal vote, by 5pm on Tuesday April 20; or a proxy vote, where you authorise someone to vote on your behalf, by 5pm on Tuesday, April 27.
If you want to choose either of these options, you can download and print forms at www.electoralcommission.org.uk You are asked to do so as early as possible to assist with the processing and ensure you get your ballot papers promptly after the candidates are confirmed.
For the first time, in order to make it easier for people not able or wanting to go to the post box to forward on their postal or proxy applications, we can accept clear photographs or scans of the completed documents sent by email to email@example.com, ensuring that your signature can be seen in full.
Because a physical signature is required, you will need to print and sign the postal and proxy application forms downloaded from www.electoralcommission.org.uk. Along with date of birth, your signature is essential to confirm your identity when you send in your completed postal voting pack. This information does not affect the secrecy of your vote.
There is a different process for anyone unable to physically sign.
The completed, signed documents can be posted to:
The Electoral Registration Officer, Electoral Services, North Kesteven District Council, Kesteven Street, Sleaford NG34 7EF.
The first batch of postal voting packs will be sent out around April 17, including ballot papers and instructions how to complete and return your vote.
Further information, and the necessary forms, can be found at: www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter
Changes to existing postal or proxy voting arrangements
As well as new applications, changes to existing postal voting arrangements must be made by 5pm on April 20.
To cancel or change a proxy vote arrangement, this needs to be done by 5pm on April 20, but the deadline for applications for new proxies is 5pm on April 27. There is provision for emergency proxies to vote at a polling station. Deadline 5pm on May 6.
There is an option to request a postal vote by default for all subsequent elections. Anyone who did not select this option previously, will need to re-apply on this occasion.