Lothian Valuation Joint Board

Electoral Registration, Valuation and Council Tax within Lothian

Absent Voting

The facilities of absent voting, which cover both postal and proxy voting, exist to cater for electors who cannot attend their allocated polling place to vote on the day of an election or referendum. Voting by post involves the issue of your ballot paper to an address of your choice, and the marking, by you, of your vote on the ballot paper.

That ballot paper then requires to be returned by the close of poll on polling day. Voting by proxy involves your appointment of another person to vote on your behalf, either in person at your allocated polling place, or by post. This can be anyone as long as they themselves are qualified to vote at the election in question and have not already been appointed as proxy for more than 2 persons to whom they are not related.

Applications can be made for an indefinite period, a particular period or for a particular election or referendum only.

How to apply . . .

Option one - postal vote

Applying for a postal vote is very simple, you can request a postal vote just because you want to, no reason needs to be given. Your ballot paper(s) will be sent to you by post, prior to an election or referendum. Complete the papers and return them as directed.

Note that the Ballot Paper(s) will not be issued immediately on receipt of your application and may be sent to you less than a week before an Election.

You need to be sure that you will receive your papers in time to complete them and send them back.

Option two - proxy vote

You can appoint someone you trust to cast your vote for you, either in person at your allocated polling place, or by post if they have applied for a postal vote to vote on your behalf.

A proxy appointment can be for an indefinite period or for a one off occurrence due to incapacity or work related or educational absence, which may mean the applicant is regularly away from home.

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You may wish to apply for a particular election because you will be on holiday, on a business trip or are on a short-term hospital stay. These are just some of the acceptable circumstances but there are others and so if you are not sure you should contact the Electoral Registration Officer for advice, as soon as you know you will not be able to vote in person.

Application forms are available for download from the downloads page. 

At elections and referendums there are statutory closing dates for absent vote applications being received by the Electoral Registration Officer and so it is important that you make the first contact as early as possible after the date of the election or referendum is known. Application forms are available from the downloads page or by contacting our office.