There’s an Election on…Postal Votes, Proxies and Last Minute Registration…

Labour candidate for Bridgwater is Leigh Redman

There’s an election on. It’s mainly about getting rid of the Tories but for many people who have never voted, who are now thinking about voting, who previously might have thought ‘they’re all the same’ but now want to make sure their voice is heard they have a day to register if they haven’t already. 18 June is the deadline for that. Or if they’re not here on the 4th july they can also get someone else to vote for them (proxy voting) or they can get a postal vote so they can vote ahead of the day and not even have to turn up on the 4th july. British democracy is at work and here’s how you can make sure you’re taking part. Because if you don’t vote then someone else is voting FOR you….

Register to Vote

The candidates in the Bridgwater election

The deadline to register to have a vote if you don’t already have one is  Tuesday 18 July. If you are already registered and received a poll card for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections on 2 May, you do not need to take any further action. Boundaries have changed since the last General Election so there are now seven constituencies in Somerset Council’s area. They are: Bridgwater; Frome and East Somerset; Glastonbury and Somerton; Taunton and Wellington; Tiverton and Minehead; Wells and Mendip Hills; and Yeovil. You can check individual constituencies : Boundary review 2023: Which seats will change in the UK?  ( The candidates for the seats have now been published on Somerset Council’s website.If you have recently turned 18 or moved home, it is particularly important that you act to ensure that you are registered to vote. If in doubt, you can check with Somerset Council on 0300 123 2224. It takes just five minutes to apply online at you know you are going to be away from home, or cannot get to the polling station, the deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm Wednesday 19 June.

Changes to voting in UK Parliament elections from overseas

Bridgwater could well be a Labour gain.

Do you have friends or family living abroad who are British citizens? Let them know they can now vote in UK Parliament elections even if they’ve lived outside the UK for more than 15 years.

They will need to have previously lived or been registered to vote in the UK at some point in their life. They can now also register to vote online and their overseas declaration is now valid for three years, lasting until 1 November in the third year after it takes effect. These changes apply to UK Parliament general elections, by-elections and recall petitions. They do not apply to local elections. For more information visit

Voter ID

Electors voting in person at the polling station are now required to present an accepted photo ID before being issued with their ballot paper.

Those who are registered to vote at the polling station but do not have an accepted photo ID can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate before the deadline at 5pm on Wednesday 26 June. You can apply online:

If you have any questions about Voter ID or would like to request a paper form to apply for the Voter Authority Certificate, contact 0300 123 2224 or email

Key dates:

  • 18 June – deadline for voter registration
  • 19 June – deadline for postal vote and postal proxy vote applications
  • 26 June – deadline to apply for free Voter Authority Certificate
  • 26 June – deadline for proxy vote submissions
  • 4 July – polling day 7am-10pm
  • 4-5 July – counting and declarations

Deadline approaches for postal vote applications

Somerset residents planning to cast their vote in the General Election on 4 July by post, have until 5pm on 19 June to submit their applications.

‘Tactical Voting’ is a good way to get rid of the Tories

The deadline for proxy vote applications is 26 June.

You can apply for a postal vote if you’re away on holiday or because your

work schedule means you can’t get to the polling station. You can also choose to vote by post simply because it would be more convenient for you.

A  proxy is someone you trust who goes to your polling station and votes on your behalf. The proxy must be 18 or over and must be registered to vote and eligible to vote at parliamentary elections in the UK. You can apply for a proxy vote online at or you can request a paper form to be posted or emailed to you. Completed applications, whether online or paper, must reach the Electoral Registration Officer by 5pm Wednesday 26 June.

You will be sent a postal vote ballot pack before the election. Voters applying to vote by post will also need to prove their identity.

Full details and application forms are available on the Government’s website Please contact Electoral Services on 0300 123 2224 at Somerset Council if you need a paper form.

Residents need to be aware that the way postal votes are received at Somerset Council offices has changed in line with national legislation.

New laws mean that when someone hands in a postal vote at a reception point or at a polling station, a Postal Vote Return form must now also be completed. This could be time-consuming.

So, voters are being encouraged to use Royal Mail and post their vote in good time for it to be counted.

Postal votes receive a speedy service from Royal Mail and are easily identified by the purple flashes marked on the envelopes. They are delivered up to 9.30pm on polling day which is why Royal Mail should be the preferred method of returning them.

Voters can check their nearest post box and collection times via

need a proxy vote? Make sure it’s someone you trust to use it well…

Postal votes can still be handed in and the relevant forms completed during office hours only at these four locations in Somerset:

  • Bridgwater House, Bridgwater
  • Shape Office, Shepton Mallet
  • West Somerset House, Williton
  • Petters House, Petters Way, Yeovil

Voters need to know that any postal votes left at offices or put in office post boxes must be rejected.


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