Postal Vote FAQs

How do I apply for a postal vote?

You will need to fill in a postal vote application form.  You can get a form from the Electoral Registration Office (ERO) on 0131 344 2500. Anyone on the electoral register can apply for a postal vote as long as you are individually registered. The last date to apply for a postal vote is 26 November.

Your postal vote pack will contain:

  • 1 ballot paper
  • A postal voting statement (you must fill in your date of birth and signature)
  • An "A" envelope to put your completed ballot paper in
  • A "B" envelope to return everything (pre-paid, no stamp required)

Where can I get my postal vote sent?

It can be sent to your home address or to any other address that you give. Postal votes can be sent overseas, but you need to consider whether there will be enough time to receive and return your postal vote pack by polling day.


When will I get my postal vote?

Postal votes will be issued around 28 November.  If you are applying for a postal vote you need to consider when you are actually going away, i.e. if you have asked for your postal vote to go to your home address you need to be at home to receive it.  You may wish to consider a proxy vote if you are unsure.


Why haven't I received my postal vote?

You should receive your postal vote pack from 28 November onwards. You can contact the ERO on 0131 344 2500 to check you are registered as a postal voter.


I applied for a postal vote but now want to vote in person, can I do this?

Up until 26 November you can change to vote in person by contacting the ERO on 0131 344 2500. After this date it is too late to change.


I have received, and completed, my postal vote, when should I return it?

Postal votes should be returned as soon as possible but must be received by close of poll (10pm on polling day).


I have applied for a postal vote but not yet received it and I am going to be away from home soon, what can I do?

Up until 26 November you can apply to change your postal vote to a proxy vote - phone the ERO on 0131 344 2500 to arrange this. After this date your postal vote cannot be changed. 


Can I still use my postal vote or is it spoilt?

A replacement may not be necessary - check if query falls into category 1 or 2.

Category 1 - STILL ACCEPTED

If any of the following applies please note that everything should be returned as instructed in the return B envelope   

  • Blue pen used
  • Blue pen used then gone over in black pen
  • Any other colour of pen (rather than black) used
  • Pencil used
  • Signature and/or DoB in wrong place (outwith the designated boxes)
  • Postal Voting Statement has been detached from envelope A
  • Postal Voting Statement became detached/torn and sellotape has been used to re-attach it
  • Glue on coloured flap between the PVS and envelope A not sticking
  • Sellotape used on return B envelope
  • A envelope has not been sealed but has been put in the B envelope

Category 2 - ADVICE AS DETAILED BELOW:

  • If the return B envelope is damaged or lost - the rest of the paperwork can still be returned - put everything into an ordinary envelope addressed to Election Office, John Muir House, Haddington EH41 3HA.
  • Husband/wife signed each other's PVS - score out wrong signature and sign it correctly above/below the designated area and return as instructed.
  • Husband/wife put each other's DoB on Postal Voting Statement - score out wrong DoB and put correct DoB in above/below the designated area and return as instructed.
  • If the wrong box has been marked on the ballot paper - score this out and then vote as intended (your vote will still be valid as long as your intention is clear).

If none of the above 2 categories apply and a replacement is required please do not destroy any of the paperwork as the Election Office needs the originals to be able to issue a replacement. The deadline for issuing replacements on polling day is 5pm.


I received my postal vote but have now lost it, how can I get a replacement?

For advice, contact the helpline 01875 824300.


Postal Vote received but voter unable to complete due to existing medical condition, can someone else complete it on their behalf?

No - the signature on the postal vote statement has to be verified (against the original application signature) the vote will be rejected if someone else has signed the statement. Contact the ERO on 0131 344 2500 to arrange for a proxy vote or a waiver for future elections.

Power of Attorney does not apply to voting.


I have made a mistake and spoiled my postal ballot paper, what do I do?

See categories 1 and 2 above - a replacement may not be required. 

Before a replacement can be issued, all documents that came with the original pack (including the ballot paper) must be returned to the Election Office.

Replacements cannot be provided after 5pm on Polling Day.


I have applied for a postal vote, can I still vote at the polling station?

No - but on Polling Day you can return your postal vote to a polling station (by 10pm).