Voting by post or proxy
Anybody who is registered to vote can apply for a postal vote.
Apply to vote by post
You can either:
Return the completed form to: Electoral Services Department, Cheshire East Borough Council, Macclesfield Town Hall, C/O Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe, CW1 2BJ.
Voting by post
Before an election all postal voters will receive a postal poll card.
When you get your postal vote
- Follow the instructions that are included with the contents of the envelope. The instructions are on a separate sheet. The security statement will be attached to the ballot paper. You can vote for as many candidates as it details on the top of the ballot paper.
- On the ballot paper, place a 'X' next to the candidate/s you wish to vote for.
- Put the ballot paper into the small brown envelope marked ‘Ballot Paper Envelope 'A’ & seal it. Do not allow anyone else to see who you have voted for.
- This envelope should now be put into the larger white envelope marked ‘B’.
- You should now be left with just the security statement. You should sign the security statement yourself and add your date of birth in all of the relevant boxes (if your date of birth is 17th May 1970 for example, you should enter 17-05-1970).
- This should also be placed in the large white envelope marked ‘B’ along with the smaller brown ballot paper envelope you have already put in.
- Ensure the Returning Officer address is showing through the window of Envelope B.
- Seal the envelope and post it through a Royal Mail post box as soon as possible.
Does someone have to witness me signing the security statement?
Not any more. The rules were changed in The Electoral Administration Act 2006. You just need to sign the security statement and write down your date of birth in the relevant boxes for your vote to be valid and counted.
Can I let someone else fill in my postal vote ballot paper?
No, this is a secret ballot and you should not show anyone your vote. You can appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf.
Taking your postal vote to the polling station
What if I don't want to send my vote back by post?
On Election Day you can hand deliver it to a Presiding Officer at any polling station in your Ward before the close of poll.
I have received my postal vote, but I don’t want to vote by post now, can I go and vote at the polling station?
No. If you have received a postal vote, this is the only way you can vote at this election.
You may take your ballot paper and all other relevant documentation to the polling station but you will not be given another ballot paper by the Presiding Officer. You cannot put your Postal Ballot Paper into the Ballot Box, you must hand the completed documentation to the Presiding Officer who has a separate envelope for Postal Votes.
I’ve left it too late to post my ballot papers – can I go to a polling station?
Yes you can, but only on Election Day and only at a polling station within your ward. You must take your completed postal voting pack with you and hand it to the Presiding Officer.
Can anyone find out how I have voted?
No they can't. The ballot is secret. Anything which identifies you cannot be accessed, or referred to when your vote has been received.
There is a number on my ballot paper and security statement, can you tell how I have voted?
The numbers are there to prevent fraud. Everyone has a unique identifying number. When postal votes are returned the number on the security statements are checked against the number on the sealed envelopes that the ballot papers are in. The statements are then removed and stored away. The ballot paper envelopes are opened and the votes are placed face down & counted. The counted votes are then also removed and stored away. At no time during this process do the statement and the ballot paper come into contact with each other. All the documents are sealed immediately after the election and can only be unsealed by a court order. The Corresponding Numbers Lists (CNL’s) are stored away before any postal votes have been returned. All the papers and documents are destroyed after a prescribed period.
Is postal voting safe?
Postal voting is safe, secure and secret. You should complete your ballot papers yourself, not show them to anyone else and post your vote as early as possible to ensure it gets counted.
Mistakes or lost papers
I have made a mistake on my postal ballot paper - what can I do?
You will need to email electoral information or call the Elections office on 0300 123 5016
I have lost my postal ballot paper – what can I do?
You may be able to get another one so please email electoral information or call the Elections office on 0300 123 5016
The correct ballot papers?
The postal vote isn’t addressed to me; am I ok filling this in as I haven’t received one/am not registered at this address?
No. The ballot paper must only be completed by the person it is addressed to. It is an offence to complete someone else’s ballot paper. If you are registered at your previous address then you may vote from there.
I have received a postal vote at my current address and at my old address, can I vote twice?
No. You can only vote once in a single election, even if the ballot papers are for different wards/constituencies etc. It is an election offence to vote more than once in a particular election. Send back, unopened, the postal vote for your old address to Electoral Services department, Cheshire East Borough Council, Macclesfield Town Hall, C/O Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 2BJ
I have received my postal vote, but I have recently changed my name, do I need a new one?
No. The poll card/postal vote was sent to you, even though you have changed your name you can still vote. (For postal votes only) if you signed your application form in your old name, then you should sign your security statement with your old signature. You should email electoral information or call the Elections office on 0300 123 5016 who will send a new application after the election so you can update your details.
Voting by proxy
A proxy vote is where you nominate someone to vote on your behalf.
Anyone can apply for a proxy vote for a specific election. For more information email electoral information or go to www.aboutmyvote.co.uk for a form.