Changes to Postal and Proxy Voting Registration in Ribble Valley

Published: 30th November 2023

Image: How we apply to vote by post and proxy in England is changing.
How we apply to vote by post and proxy in England is changing.

Changes to postal and proxy voting have been introduced which will apply to all forthcoming elections in England.

From 31 October 2023, the Government introduced changes for ‘absent voters.’ This means anyone who votes by post or who votes on behalf of someone else, also known as a ‘proxy voter’.

The main changes which are being introduced for postal and proxy voters are:

  • Postal and proxy voters can now apply online to vote and a valid proof of identity will be needed for all for all applications.
  • Postal Voters will need to renew their applications every three years.
  • Proxy voters will now have limits on the number of people they can vote on behalf of.

The new online system is provided by the UK Government and allows postal and for some types of proxy voters to apply for an absent vote.  This is a similar process as registering to vote and voters will need to provide their National Insurance number as proof of identity, as well as a signature.

Any voters who hold a current postal or proxy vote before 31 October 2023 do not need to reapply for their vote until 31 January 2026.  Any such voters will be notified by Ribble Valley Borough Council’s Electoral Services Team before their expiry date and given the relevant information about how to make a fresh application should they wish to do so.

Voters can still apply for a postal or proxy vote by completing an application form and sending this to Ribble Valley Borough Council.  Application forms can be found on the Electoral Commission’s website:

For voters who wish to act as a proxy, you will now only be able to act as a proxy for up to two people living in the UK and two people registered as living overseas or service voters.

Ribble Valley Borough Council’s electoral and licensing officer, Jane Horsfield, said: “It is important that any Ribble Valley residents who vote by post or proxy or who are considering making an application, are aware of these changes.

“The best way to apply for a postal or proxy vote is via the online portal.  Voters should be aware that processing of applications may take longer than normal, and we are therefore urging them to act now in time for any forthcoming elections so that they can retain, or apply for, their right to vote.”

Additional information and advice on these changes can be found via the Electoral Commission’s website:  Alternatively, residents may contact Ribble Valley Borough Council directly on 01200 414411 or via the website: