Changes to Postal and Proxy Voting

Page updated on: 04/04/2024

The changes detailed below are applicable for those electors who are considering applying to vote by post or considering appointing someone to vote on their behalf known as a proxy.

Changes you’ll see to Postal Voting: 

Parliamentary and Police and Crime Commissioner elections

You will have the option to apply for a postal vote for Parliamentary and Police and Crime Commissioner elections via a new central government online system. Electors applying for a postal vote for these two election types will require their identity to be verified with DWP records when applying online but also when applying via a paper application.

Your application for these two election types will cover you for a maximum period of three years. A notice informing you of the need to reapply will be sent prior to this at the end of that time.

At a Parliamentary or Police and Crime Commissioner election, there will also be a limit to how many postal votes an elector can hand in at any polling station or council building. You will be allowed to take your own, and up to five others.

At these two election types, political parties and campaigners will be banned from handling postal vote packs on behalf of electors unless they are handing in their own, a close relative or someone for whom they provide regular care or for whom regular care is provided by an organisation which employs or engages them.

Hand Delivery of postal votes – please be aware:

If you miss the post, you can hand in your postal vote and/or the postal vote of others at the following council offices during office opening hours:

  • Block 4, Parc Myrddin, Richmond Terrace, Carmarthen, SA31 1HQ
  • Carmarthen Customer Service Hwb, Unit 22, St Catherine’s Walk Carmarthen SA31 1GA
  • Llanelli Customer Service Hwb, Hwb, 36 Stepney Street, Llanelli, SA15 3TR
  • Ammanford Customer Service Hwb, 41, Quay Street, Ammanford, SA18 3BS

 Or before 10pm at  any polling station in the County on election day.
You will be provided with a form which you must complete for the postal vote(s) you are handing in to be accepted.
You can hand in your own postal vote or the postal votes for up to 5 other voters.


Senedd and Local Government elections

For Senedd and Local Government elections you will not be able to apply online for a postal vote but will have to complete a paper application. You can request one of these forms from your elections office or go online to download this form from the Electoral Commission website. No ID verification is required for these two election types.

Your application for these two election types can cover you for an indefinite period provided you continue to refresh your signature every five years. A request to refresh your signature will be sent to you by the elections office at the required time.

For electors who have a postal vote in place before 31 October 2023 - you do not need to do anything further. The elections office will contact you when you need to renew your postal votes for each election type. 

When do the changes come into force?

  • The process for a three yearly application process for postal voters who apply for Parliamentary and Police and Crime Commissioner Elections is expected to begin from October 2023. Electors who have an existing postal vote prior to the changes coming in, will not need to do anything until 31 Jan 2026, however the Elections Team will be in touch with you prior to this date regarding the transitional arrangements
  • The rules regarding secrecy and who can handle postal votes for the above election types is expected to be in place for elections taking place on or after 2 May 2024.
  • Online absent voting applications and having to apply separately for Senedd and local government elections is expected from October 2023.


Changes you will see to Proxy Voting

Parliamentary and Police and Crime Commissioner elections

There will be changes to the limit of how many people a voter can act as a proxy for. Currently a person can act as a proxy for an unlimited number of close relatives and two other electors. Under the new rules for these election types, voters would be limited to acting as proxy for four people of whom only two can be domestic electors who live in the UK regardless of their relationship. (or a maximum of 4 people, with 2 people living in the UK and 2 people registered as living overseas).


Senedd and Local Government elections

There is no change to current rules i.e., you can be proxy for no more than two electors except where they are spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild of the elector.

When will this change come into force?

It is expected that these changes will come into force from October 23.

For electors that have an appointed proxy in place prior to 31 October 23:

All existing electors (both domestic and overseas) that have a proxy arrangement in place prior to 31 October 2023 will need to reapply by 31 January 2024. The elections team will be in touch with you and give you ample notice and support to update your arrangements.

Council & Democracy