Voters who are unable to make it in person to their local polling station at this year’s Milton Keynes Council elections have until today (April 15) to apply for a postal vote.
People whose names are on the electoral register do not need a reason to apply for a postal vote but if might be useful if you are away on business or on holiday on local election polling day.
Some people – students who live away at university for example – are able to apply to vote twice at local elections: once at their place of study, and another in their home town. However, they must be registered to vote in both local council areas – but it is illegal to vote twice at a UK general election.
Application forms to vote by post can be found and downloaded from the government website at www.gov.uk/voting-in-the-uk/postal-voting. Completed forms should then be emailed to email@example.com but they must be received by that council by 5pm today.
Postal voting packs will start to be sent out from Monday, and it is possible to change where the pack is sent if you will be away from home when the postal vote is sent out.
Those people who manage to make a mess of the ballot paper, or it is eaten by the dog, can request a replacement ballot paper. But the replacement must be collected in person and swapped for the ruined set of papers.
It is possible to get a replacement for a lost or spoilt ballot paper up to 5pm on polling day, which this year is Thursday, May 2.
To vote in a local government election you must:
be registered to vote
be 18 or over on the day of the election
be a British, Irish, Commonwealth or EU citizen
be registered at an address in the area you want to vote in
not be legally excluded from voting
The following people cannot vote in a local council election:
anyone other than British or Irish, qualifying Commonwealth or European Union citizens
convicted persons detained in pursuance of their sentences, excluding contempt of court (though remand prisoners, unconvicted prisoners and civil prisoners can vote if they are on the electoral register)
anyone found guilty within the previous five years of corrupt or illegal practices in connection with an election.