How to get an emergency proxy vote

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The local elections across England, Wales and Scotland are only a day away. As current coronavirus legislation means some are currently homebound due to self-isolation requirements, an emergency proxy may be the only way for some to be able to cast their vote.

What is an emergency proxy vote?

An emergency proxy vote can be conducted in special circumstances for those who may find they can’t get to the polling station as planned on the day of a vote.

It means someone else you know and trust can cast your vote in your absence.

Both you and your proxy must be eligible and registered to vote.

Read More: ‘Scottish election on a knife edge’ says Douglas Ross as SNP polls mix

You can get an emergency proxy if you fulfil any of the following:

  • in the case of a medical condition, illness or disability arising after the deadline for ordinary proxy applications
  • if they are a mental health patient detained under civil powers
  • if their occupation, service or employment means they cannot go to the polling station in person and they became aware of this after the deadline for ordinary proxy applications
  • if you have been told you need to self isolate due to a positive coronavirus test, or if someone you have recently had close contact with has tested positive for the virus

To be eligible to vote in the UK, you must be any of the following:

  • a British citizen
  • an Irish or EU citizen living in the UK
  • a Commonwealth citizen who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need permission
  • a citizen of another country living in Scotland or Wales who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need permission

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How do I apply to vote by proxy?

First, you must ask someone who is willing and capable to cast a vote on your behalf.

You must instruct them who you want to vote for.

You must fill in the form and return it to your local electoral office by 5pm on the day of the vote.

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

You can usually do this by email or send someone on your behalf to drop it off in person.

Polling stations across England, Wales and Scotland will be open on Thursday from 7am to 10pm.

Your proxy does not need your polling card or any identification, such as a passport or drivers license, when they go to vote.

Votes this week are taking place for 143 English local councils, 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 60 Members of the Welsh Senedd, 39 Police and Crime Commissioners, 25 London Assembly seats and 13 directly-elected mayors.

Some of these have come a year late, after being postponed from last year due to the coronavirus crisis.

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