Postal and Proxy Voting

If you are unable to get to the polling station on polling day you can apply for a postal or proxy vote (absent vote). More information about both methods of voting and common questions can be found below.

Postal Voting

What is a postal vote?

To vote by post means your ballot paper(s) for an election/would be sent to your home address or another address where you will be staying during an election. Postal votes are sent out around 5-19 working days before polling day and must be posted back to the Returning Officer at the Council by polling day or handed, sealed to polling station staff on polling day by 10pm to be counted.

Postal voting is available to anyone and can be granted for definite or indefinite periods, or for just one election. If you apply for a postal vote for a particular election please note that will not be able to then vote in person at the polling station. You can also apply for a postal proxy vote, where someone you appoint can vote on your behalf by post.

How do I apply for a postal vote?

If you wish to apply for, change or cancel a postal vote you must contact the Electoral Registration Office or download an application form from  Applications for a postal vote can be made for a single election, for a specified period or permanently. 

You don’t have to wait for an election to be announced to apply to vote by post. You can apply at any time, provided you are already on the electoral register, however certain application deadlines will apply before the poll.

How do I complete my postal vote?

Step by Step guidance - filling out and returning your postal vote pack

Your postal voting pack will contain instructions on how to complete your ballot paper(s) and a postal vote statement which requires you to provide your signature and date of birth. The completed postal voting statement must then be returned with your ballot paper(s) in the envelopes provided for your vote to be valid. These are legal requirements for electoral security. You must be able to sign your name to vote by post. If you can't, you can request a postal vote with a signature waiver.

Can I complete a postal vote on behalf of someone else?

Unless you have been appointed as a Proxy on behalf of that voter you cannot complete a postal vote on behalf of another elector, even if you have Power of Attorney (POA). Power of Attorney does not apply to postal voting. It may be  appropriate for a voter to appoint a proxy voter, or to apply for a signature waiver if a voter is unable to complete a postal vote themselves. Please contact the Electoral Registration Office for more information on 01224 068400 on other methods of voting.

Issues with postal votes

When will I receive my postal vote?

Postal votes are usually dispatched around 10 working days before the election, please check the main elections web page links as we will put information here about the days we release postal votes. Please bear in mind there may be no mail service on bank holidays.

I haven't received my postal vote for this election/referendum

If you have not received your postal vote or you have mislaid it, please contact us, as a replacement can be issued from our Elections office until 5pm on polling day. It can be posted to you, if there is time, or you can collect your replacement postal vote from Elgin. Please contact the Elections Enquiry helpline on 01343 563334 for more information.

I haven't posted my postal vote back in time

When you receive your postal vote, please complete it as soon as you can. If you haven't got enough time to post it back by polling day (remember to allow at least 2 days for posting back via Royal Mail from within the UK) then you can hand your completed postal vote for the Moray West, Nairn and Strathspey constituency into any Polling Station in the Moray West, Nairn and Strathspey constituency or to reception at the Annexe, Council Offices, High Street, Elgin. It must reach the Returning Officer by 10pm on polling day for it be counted.

Due to changes in legislation, if you are returning your postal vote to a polling station or reception you must complete a postal vote return form or you vote will not be counted.

I have damaged/lost the envelope to post the postal vote back in

You can post the postal vote back to us in a plain sealed envelope addressed to: 

Freepost Plus RLTE-XSAE-ASYG, The Returning Officer, The Moray Council, Council Offices, High Street, ELGIN IV30 9SA, no stamp required.

Alternatively we can post you a replacement postal vote envelope B if you call our elections helpline on 01343 563334 or email up until 4 working days before the poll. 

I have damaged torn or spoilt my postal vote ballot paper/postal voting statement (or completed someone else's in my house by mistake)

We can replace spoilt or damaged postal votes, please contact our elections helpline on 01343 563334 or email, with your name, address, ballot paper number and a contact number. Please DO NOT throw away/destroy the damaged postal vote pack, we will ask you to return it for cancellation.

I have torn off the perforated postal voting statement that is attached to envelope A, what should I do

This does not void your postal vote. Ensure you complete your postal voting statement and then paperclip it to the sealed Ballot Paper envelope A. Place the two items in the Return Envelope B ensuring that the Returning Officer's return address shows clearly through the window. You should not be able to see your own postal address. Now seal and post as soon as possible.

I have received a postal vote rejection notification letter

A postal vote rejection notification letter will be sent to you after an election, to advise if there was a problem with your postal voting statement when you returned your postal vote. 

It is important that you complete your own postal voting statement with both your signature and date of birth, as you provided when you applied for the postal vote. Please ensure you take time to complete your postal voting statement clearly and sign it consistently. Take care when completing your date of birth and ensure that you don't put the date that you are signing the postal vote statement by mistake.

Proxy Voting

What is a proxy vote?

You can apply for someone to vote for you, this person is called a 'proxy'. This is where you appoint someone you know and trust to vote on your behalf. If you appoint a proxy to vote for you he/she must be willing to vote on your behalf and eligible themselves to vote.

Who can have a proxy vote?

Proxy voting is available to people who cannot reasonably be expected to attend their polling station at elections because of physical incapacity, employment away from home, or attendance at courses for example. Temporary proxy voting is also available if a voter is away from home on polling day. A reason must be given why you cannot vote in person.

How will my proxy know when to vote?

Your proxy will receive a proxy  pollcard  before polling day, giving them details of how and where to vote at the designated polling station. A postal proxy vote is also available, on application, allowing your proxy to vote by post on your behalf, if they can't get to the polling station.

How do I apply for a proxy vote?

If you wish to apply for, change or cancel your proxy vote you must contact the Electoral Registration Office or download application forms at A proxy can choose to vote at the polling place or via postal vote.

For applications for postal and proxy votes or to amend details contact the Electoral Registration Office:

If you live in the Moray Council area:

Electoral Registration Office 
Grampian Valuation Joint Board
Woodhill House, Westburn Road, Aberdeen, AB16 5GE
01224 068400 (for applications for a postal or proxy vote or to amend details only)
Online contact form at

Monday - Thursday - 9am to 5pm, Friday - 9am to 4pm 


If you live in the Highland Council area:

Electoral Registration Office 
16 - 18 Bank Street
Inverness, IV1 1QY
0800 393789 

For issues with damaged or lost postal votes or envelopes only, please contact the Council's Election office below 

Contact Us

Elections Office
Council Offices
High Street

01343 563334

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