Don’t forget to return your postal votes!.
Instructions for voting by post
Once you receive your papers please read the instructions carefully. If you need help, please call 01643 703704.
You will receive your local elections ballot paper(s) and your parliamentary election papers separately.
Complete your postal vote statement by entering your date of birth and signature in the correct boxes.
Mark your vote on your ballot paper(s)
Please ensure when folding the postal voting statement and placing inside envelope B, that the Returning Officer, West Somerset Council address is showing in the address window – don’t forget to put in envelope A before posting back to us.
Who can apply for a Postal Vote?
If you are unable or unwilling to vote in person at a Polling Station , you can still have your say in an election by casting your vote by post. Anybody can vote by post without having to give a reason. The only requirements are that you be registered to vote and that you have completed a Postal Vote application form (118 kb pdf).
How long can I have a Postal Vote for?
It can be for the next election, a fixed period of time, say 6 months or 1 year, or a maximum of five years. If you selected 5 years then we will write to you at the end of that period to allow you to renew your application. If you move house your postal vote will come to an end.
To end a postal voting arrangement at any other time, please write and tell us.
How does Postal Voting work?
As a postal voter you will receive a ballot paper pack through the post. The ballot paper must be marked by you in the privacy of your own home, sealed in a ballot paper envelope and returned through the post. You do not need to use a stamp as the envelopes provided for you will have postage paid.
The ballot paper pack also includes a voting statement, which requires your signature and date of birth. We will verify that your sealed ballot paper envelope came from you when we receive it, by checking the voting statement back to your original signature and date of birth on your application form. This ensures that no-one takes your vote. We check your signature before the sealed ballot paper envelope is opened so that no-one will know how you voted. Your vote remains secret.
If you cannot provide a signature or consistent signature due to any disability or inability to read or write, you or your carer should contact us for advice on how to proceed. In all cases the signature and date of birth you provide will not form part of the public electoral register and your personal details will only be used to check the validity of your vote. Your personal information will not be used for any other purpose.
Can I change my mind about voting by post after the ballot papers have been issued?
No, once a ballot paper has been issued to you to vote by post you will not be able to vote in person at a polling station. However, you are allowed to deliver your completed Postal Vote in its return envelope to a polling station within your electoral area or to the Civic Offices before the close of the Poll. We will write and remind you that you have a postal vote just before an election.
Who should not apply for a Postal Vote?
We try to send out all the postal votes on first day that the law permits us, currently 10 working days before polling day. However, we cannot guarantee this. It is possible that your postal vote may be sent out as late as 5 working days before polling date. Postal votes are therefore generally not suitable for people who are on holiday just prior to the election as we cannot promise to get you the papers on time. Additionally, if you live overseas we do not recommend that you apply for a Postal Vote as the time allowed for the issue of the votes and their return is insufficient to overcome the likely delays in post. If you are abroad, on Holiday or living overseas we recommend that you apply for a Proxy vote.
Contact the Taunton Deane and West Somerset Shared Electoral Services Office
West Somerset House
Telephone: 01643 703704