Colchester introduces updated rules for postal and proxy votes ahead of Local and PFCC Elections

PUBLISHED: 11 April 2024

Colchester City Council is introducing updated guidelines governing postal and proxy votes in preparation for the forthcoming local and Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) elections. These revisions are in line with national electoral standards aimed at ensuring the security and trustworthiness of the voting process.

Changes derived from the Elections Act 2022 concerning the handling and confidentiality of absent votes will come into force for the May 2024 elections. These provisions impose limitations on individuals handling postal vote and as acting as proxy voters. This includes restrictions on the number of postal votes accepted at polling stations and other locations, and the process for submitting postal votes.

Effective immediately, Colchester voters should take note of the following important updates:
  • Individuals submitting completed postal votes are now restricted to a maximum of five votes for other electors, in addition to their own postal vote, per election.
  • Individuals as a proxy can only do so for a maximum of four people, of which no more than two can be domestic electors (a domestic elector is one who is not an overseas or service voter).
  • A postal vote return form, including some personal details (name and address), must be completed along with a declaration.
Submission of Postal Votes:
  • Postal votes should be returned as soon as possible via Royal Mail.
  • Postal votes can also be returned in person to a designated member of staff authorised by the Returning Officer at Colchester Town Hall during office hours.
  • Voters can also submit their postal votes at any designated polling station within the Colchester constituency on Election Day, 2 May 2024.
These refinements aim to improve accessibility and security for postal and proxy voters in Colchester, empowering them to fully engage in the electoral process.

New rules in place for postal voting also mean that you will need to reapply every three years, even if you’re currently registered for postal votes. The deadline to apply is 5 pm on Wednesday, 17 April. Apply online at

Pam Donnelly, Returning Officer for Colchester City Council, said: “We are committed to ensuring a fair and transparent electoral process. These new guidelines offer clear instructions for voters and uphold the integrity of our elections.”

For more details regarding postal and proxy voting procedures, please visit or contact the Colchester City Council elections team at

Page last reviewed: 11 April 2024


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