Register to vote, apply for a postal vote or proxy vote

Information about registering to vote

How to register to vote

You must be on the register of electors to vote.

Register to vote on the GOV.UK website

You can register, or update your name, address or other details on the electoral register at any time using the link above. In July, every household is sent a registration form which you can use to register by post. You can also register by calling the Electoral Registration Office.

0131 344 2500

You can register to vote even if you are homeless or living in a hostel. You must

  • be aged 18 or over
  • be a British citizen, Irish citizen, qualifying citizen of a Commonwealth country or a citizen of any other European Union (EU) country
  • have no 'legal incapacity to vote'.

If you choose to vote in person you do not need to do anything else. You will receive a poll card which tells you where to vote.

Alternatively, you can apply

  • to vote by post 
  • for someone to vote on your behalf, known as a proxy vote.

Apply to vote by post or by proxy when you register or any time afterwards. There are deadlines for particular elections. You can download the form from the Electoral Registration Office website or call for a copy.

0131 344 2500

Voting by post

A postal pack will be sent to the address you request. This contains your ballot paper, postal voting statement and return envelopes. Once you've used your postal vote you can't change your mind and vote at a polling station.

Voting by proxy

Anyone eligible to vote in the election and willing to be your proxy can vote on your behalf either at a polling place or by post. This is a formal arrangement and must be approved by the Electoral Registration Office. If someone tries to vote on your behalf without a formal proxy arrangement they are committing a criminal offence.

You must say why you need a proxy vote. For example, you are

  • going on holiday
  • unable to get to the polling place because of a physical condition
  • unable to get to the polling station because of work
  • attending an educational course
  • a Crown servant or in the Armed Forces.

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