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Postal Vote

Apply to be a postal voter

Anyone who is registered to vote can apply to be a postal voter. You do not need to give a reason.  However, the way in which you apply for a postal vote is changing. 

From the 31 October 2023, if you apply for a postal vote, you will have to do so online through the government's new Online Absent Voter Application portal.  Your identity will be checked and a copy of your signature and date of birth recorded.

Apply online to vote by post

If you are unable to submit an online application, you can still complete a paper copy and return it to the address below.  Once received, your application will be processed on your behalf.

Please download a postal vote application form from the GOV.UK website, complete the necessary information and either email the form to us as an attachment to or post it to:

Electoral Services
Chorley Borough Council
Town Hall
Market Street

You can apply for a postal vote for one election, a set period of time or permanently. Note that immediately prior to an election, any new postal vote applications can only be accepted for that election up to 5pm 11 working days before polling day.

If you choose a permanent postal vote you are still legally required to refresh your signature every 5 years (although this is reducing to every 3 years from 2024) to make sure we have a copy of your current signature.

We will contact you when it is time to do so.


Voting by post at the up-coming 4 July General Election

The deadline for postal vote applications ahead of the General Election on 4 July 2024 is 5pm Wednesday 19 June 2024.

If you are an existing postal voter or have applied for a postal vote before 3 June, their postal vote can be expected from 19 June. 

If you apply between 3 June and 19 June, you can expect to receive their postal vote from 24 June.  


How to vote by post

Approximately 2 weeks before an election you will receive your postal vote pack. If you will be away from home the period just before the election you need to check with us when postal votes will be delivered. You can do this by emailing or calling on 01257 515132.

When you receive your postal vote, you should complete it and return it as soon as possible. Follow the instructions supplied with your postal vote pack for information on how to complete your vote and return it to us in the pre-paid envelope provided. View for more information.

New rules mean your postal vote will be rejected if it is not returned correctly 

  • The easiest and most convenient way to return your postal vote is by posting it in a Royal Mail post box using the pre-paid envelope provided (envelope B)
  • Please allow sufficient time for your postal vote to reach us through the post. It must be received by the Returning Officer not later than 10pm on polling day
  • If you are hand delivering your completed postal vote, for example at a polling station or at the Electoral Services Office, you now need to complete a form. Our staff will help you with this
  • You may hand deliver your own and no more than 5 other postal votes per election
  • If you are a campaigner, you can only hand in your own postal vote, and those of close relatives or people for whom you provide regular care
  • Please DO NOT leave your postal vote in any Council Office post boxes, reception points or a polling station desk without completing a form


Spoilt and lost postal ballot papers

If you have lost, not received, damaged or spoilt your postal vote, it is possible to request a replacement. Replacements can only be issued from a week before an election and up to 5pm on polling day. Please contact us on 01257 515132 (Monday to Friday 8.45am to 5pm) to request a replacement postal pack.

If you have made a mistake on your ballot paper or postal vote statement, simply correcting the mistake is usually acceptable and we will not need to issue a replacement.

If you do require a replacement postal ballot paper pack due to it being badly damaged, you will need to bring the original to our Town Hall office so please do not throw it away.


Cancelling your postal vote

If you do not want to vote by post anymore contact us by email to or call 01257 515132. Note, immediately prior to an election being held, postal votes can only be cancelled up to 5pm, 11 working days before polling day. We will confirm the cancellation in writing to you.


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