Deadline day for postal and proxy vote - what you need to know

Woman filling in postal vote formImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,

The deadline for absent vote applications in Northern Ireland is 17:00 BST on 14 June

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For registered voters who are unable to get to the polling station on 4 July, the deadline to submit their application for alternative voting is Friday.

Voters can apply for what is known as an absent vote.

The Electoral Office of Northern Ireland (EONI) must receive your application by 17:00 BST on Friday.

If you missed the opportunity to post it in time, you can hand in your application to the EONI in Belfast.

The office will remain open until 17:00 to meet demand.

There are two types of absent vote:

  • Postal vote - where a ballot is posted to you in advance of the election, completed and posted back to the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.

  • Proxy vote - where you appoint someone you trust to attend the allocated polling station to vote on your behalf.

How do you apply?

Anyone who previously registered to vote online, will be required to supply a Digital Registration Number (DRN) in their absent vote application, via the electoral office website.

You can find out if you have a DRN here, external.

You can apply for a permanent or a temporary absent vote for both postal and proxy votes, but an explanation must be given.

A temporary absent vote can be applied for if, for example, you are going on holiday or are sick.

The Electoral Office has said that to apply for a permanent postal vote or proxy, you must have a valid reason.

It says this includes the following:

  • illness/disability

  • away from home for education reasons

  • away from home for reasons of work/employment

Further information on absent vote applications can be obtained here, external.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,

The general election is set to take place on 4 July

Am I registered to vote?

The Electoral Office has set up an online service to help people quickly check if they are registered, external to vote in Northern Ireland.

To register to vote in Northern Ireland, you must be aged 16 or over, however you must be over 18 to be included in the UK parliamentary register.

Read the other criteria and apply, here, external.

How many MPs are there in Northern Ireland?

Eighteen seats are up for grabs in Northern Ireland.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) won the most seats - eight - in the last general election, but now has seven after former party leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson was suspended from the party.

He is contesting historical sexual offence charges and his solicitor has indicated he will not be standing for re-election.

Sinn Féin is currently the largest party at Stormont and at local government level.

They will want to replicate that in the Westminster poll.

Currently, they have seven MPs, but are an abstentionist party, meaning they do not take their seats in the House of Commons.

The SDLP has two MPs and Alliance has one.

The deadline for candidates to submit nomination forms in Northern Ireland is 16:00 BST on Friday 7 June.

Image caption,

Eighteen seats are up for grabs in Northern Ireland in the general election

Elections are all about the numbers. So here are some of the key figures and dates involved:

  • 1.35 million people registered to vote in Northern Ireland

  • Poll cards will start to be issued from Tuesday 4 June

  • List of candidates by Friday 7 June

  • About 100 candidates are expected, similar to the 2019 general election

  • Ballot papers printed and delivered to 600 polling premises

  • Some 6,000 temporary staff work on election day - the equivalent of hiring the staff for the Royal Victoria Hospital for one day