Colchester City Council is reminding residents of changes to postal voting in the UK that came into effect on 31 October 2023. The changes are designed to make it easier for people to apply for a postal vote and to protect the integrity of postal voting.
Voting by post offers a convenient alternative for those that are unable to attend their polling station in person. Under the new rules, the application process will be made simpler as you can apply online. However, paper forms will be available for those that need them.
Voters will also need to reapply for a postal vote every three years. This is to ensure that the electoral register is up to date and that postal votes are only issued to eligible voters.
The new rules will apply to UK Parliament elections, including by-elections and recall petitions, local elections in England, and Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales.
Pam Donnelly, Colchester City Council's Returning Officer, said "We want to make sure that everyone who is eligible to vote can do so. If you are currently registered to vote by post, you will need to reapply by 31 January 2026. You can now do this online.
"Applying online for a postal vote is quick and easy. It is a new option that will make it easier for people to vote and help to protect the integrity of the electoral process.
"We are reminding residents of these changes to postal voting so that they can make sure they are registered to vote and have applied for a postal vote by the deadline if they wish to vote in this way.
“Visit www.colchester.gov.uk/elections/postalvote/ to learn more about the changes to postal voting and how to apply online.”
To apply for a postal vote, residents will need to prove their identity. This can be done by providing your National Insurance number and date of birth.
There will also be restrictions on the handling of postal votes by campaigners. This is to help ensure that postal votes are kept confidential and secure.
More information about the changes to postal voting is available at the Electoral Commission website.
Page last reviewed: 6 November 2023