Changes to postal and proxy vote applications

Postal vote envelopes being printed

Residents in North Devon are being advised of changes to the way they can apply for postal and proxy votes.

Voters can now apply for postal votes by completing an online application form.

Previously, postal votes could only be applied for by completing a paper application form. Paper forms are still available from the Electoral Commission website, and can also be requested from North Devon Council's electoral services team.

Postal votes will last for a maximum of three years with voters required to re-apply for their postal vote at the end of this period.

Those who already have a postal vote in place do not need to take any action now. They will be contacted by the council when their postal vote is due for renewal.

There are also changes to proxy voting. Under new rules, voters will be limited to acting as a proxy for two people, regardless of their relationship. Anyone voting on behalf of UK voters who live overseas may be eligible to act as a proxy for up to four people.  Voters are now able to apply online for some types of proxy vote.

Returning officer at North Devon Council, Ken Miles, says: "Postal and proxy votes are vital alternatives for those who are not able to attend polling stations, and the introduction of online application forms makes it easier for people to ensure they can exercise their right to vote in elections. Anyone applying online will need a National Insurance number, but alternative proof of identity may also be accepted.

"For those who are not able to apply online, or do not have access to the internet, paper copies are still available and can be requested from the council's elections team."

To request a paper postal vote application form from North Devon Council, email or phone 01271 388277.