How to get an emergency proxy vote if you can’t get to a polling station


AS England prepares to hit the polling stations for the local elections, some Brits are worried about voting in person during the Covid pandemic.

But there’s no need to panic, as we explain what to do if you’re unable to make it to the ballot box on Thursday, May 6, 2021.

  • Follow the latest local elections 2021 stories
  • Keep up-to-date on the 2021 London mayoral election

It’s nearly time to vote in England’s local elections

How do I apply for an emergency proxy vote?

New measures brought in by the government allow proxy voting in local elections for those self-isolating with coronavirus.

This follows an amendment to emergency proxy voting rules published in Parliament, February 2021.

Politicians wanted to allow for fair and Covid-secure participation in the upcoming council and mayoral elections in England, and the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales.

The legislation allows anyone who is self-isolating due to the coronavirus to access an emergency proxy vote, up to 5pm on election day.

An emergency proxy vote means you can get someone to vote on your behalf.

For example, if you are called away for work unexpectedly or have a personal medical emergency you will be eligible.

However, medical emergencies must only apply to you – you will not be able to get an emergency proxy if loved one falls ill.

A qualified individual will need to support your application and this can be made on the application form.

To be granted an emergency proxy vote, you will need to apply by 5pm on polling day (May 6 2021).

Fill in a paper form to:

  • apply to vote by emergency proxy based on your employment
  • apply to vote by emergency proxy based on your disability

An ‘appropriate person’ (for example your employer or a doctor) must sign the application form.

Send it to your local Electoral Registration Office.

To find out where your designated polling station is, check your polling card or visit the About My Vote website.

What is voting by proxy?

Voting by proxy means getting someone to vote on your behalf.

You can only vote by proxy if this applies to you:

  • You’re away on election day
  • You have a medical issue or disability that would stop you voting in person
  • You have work or military commitments that would stop you voting in person
  • You’re self-isolating because you’re infected with the Coronavirus

Don’t forget to have your say in local decisions, vote on May 6, 2021

Can I vote in local election 2021 if I’m self-isolating?

You can vote in your local election if you’re self-isolating due to a coronavirus infection, because of the government’s emergency legislation.

The government has confirmed that Brits can also apply for an emergency proxy vote if you or your proxy need to self-isolate because of COVID-19.