Can I vote if I'm on holiday? Here are two options if you're away on election day

Rishi Sunak has come under some criticism for his timing of the general election.

The 4 July poll means Scotland's schools will have started breaking up for summer - and many will be on holiday.

A lot of football fans will also be planning to travel for the Euros which are being held in Germany this summer.

However, there are two options available to people who won't be in the country on 4 July.

Postal vote

If you know that you won't be able to get to the polling station on polling day, you can vote by post.

You can apply for a postal vote if you're away on holiday or because your work schedule means you can't get to polling station. You can also choose to vote by post simply if it is more convenient/

You have to be registered to vote - the deadline for registration to be able to vote in the general election is Tuesday 18 June.

You can register to vote online, or by filling out a form and sending it to your local Electoral Registration Office, which you can identify here.

When can I apply?

As early as possible - but the deadline for applications is 5pm on Wednesday 19 June.

You should receive your postal pack about a week before election day.

How can I apply?

You can apply online by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can download and fill in a postal vote application form and send it to your local Electoral Registration Office.

You will need to provide your date of birth, National Insurance number and signature on your application form. These are used to confirm your identity when you vote by post.

Follow live: Election campaign kicks off

How do I complete my vote?

You should mark your vote on the ballot paper in secret and fill in the postal voting statement.

Then you can place the ballot and statement in the envelope provided.

When do I need to post it back?

Once you receive your postal vote, you should fill it out and return it as quickly as possible.

If you think it won't arrive in time, you can take it to your local polling station and deliver it by hand before the polls close at 10pm.

Proxy voting

Voting by proxy is when someone who is unable to vote in person asks someone else to vote on their behalf.

The person you choose as your proxy should be someone you can trust to cast your vote however you ask them to, and you must both be registered to vote.

The person either needs to be able to vote in the polling station stated on your poll card or, if they can't get there, they need to have contacted your local Electoral Registration Office to arrange to cast their proxy vote by post.

Who can apply?

You can only apply for a proxy vote in certain circumstances. The application form for people from England, Scotland and Wales outlines the following reasons:

  • I'm a British citizen living overseas

  • I'm in the armed forces

  • I'm a spouse or civil partner of someone in the armed forces

  • I'm a crown servant, or British Council employee

  • I'm a spouse or civil partner of a crown servant or British Council employee

  • I live in the UK but I'd need to travel by sea or air to my polling station

  • I'll be attending an educational course

  • Because of my employment

  • I have a disability.

It also allows you to provide another reason you aren't able to vote in person.

In Northern Ireland, they say valid reasons for proxy voting are:

  • Illness/disability

  • Away from home for education reasons

  • Away from home for reasons of work/employment.

How long does a proxy vote last?

You can either apply for a single polling day, such as 4 July, or you can select a period of time it can last for. If there's a reason why you won't be able to vote yourself indefinitely, you can apply to have a permanent proxy.

When do I need to apply by?

The deadline for this election will be 5pm on Friday 14 June in Northern Ireland and 5pm on Wednesday 26 June in England, Scotland and Wales.

Read more:
The gigs, sports events and festivals that clash with the election
The key issues the general election will be fought over

Does the person voting on my behalf need my ID?

No, they only need to have their own.

How to apply

You can apply online by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can download and fill in a proxy voting application form and send it to your local Electoral Registration Office.

If you're applying for someone else to cast a vote on your behalf, you'll need:

  • Your National Insurance number or any other identity document, for example a birth certificate

  • The address where your proxy is registered to vote

  • Contact details for your proxy

  • To upload a photo of your handwritten signature in black ink on plain white paper.

If you are set to become someone else's proxy, that person should have discussed it with you in advance of submitting their application and you will be contacted by the government once the application has gone through.

👉 Tap here to follow Electoral Dysfunction wherever you get your podcasts 👈

What if I need to cancel or change my proxy vote?

You need to contact your local Electoral Registration Office.

Can you be a proxy for more than one person?

You can be a proxy for up to two people living in the UK or up to four people if at least two of them are registered to vote from abroad.

What if I don't apply in time?

The government says you could apply for an emergency proxy vote in the following circumstances:

  • You cannot vote in person because of a medical emergency or disability

  • You cannot vote in person because of your employment

  • The photo ID you were planning on using to vote has been lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed

  • You've not yet received a new or replacement photo ID you've ordered.

You have until 5pm on the day of the election to apply in England, Scotland and Wales, but you need to fill in a paper form and send it to your local Electoral Registration Office.