Register to vote

Overseas electoral registration

I live overseas - can I still vote in Southend-on-Sea?

If you are a British citizen (which includes eligible Irish citizens and citizens of the Crown Dependencies), you may register as overseas elector if you are now living abroad, providing:

  • before you left the UK, you were registered to vote in Southend-on-Sea as an ordinary elector
  • you have previously been registered as an overseas elector and your declaration has expired
  • you were last registered on the basis of a declaration of local connection, as a merchant seaman or as a service voter.

You can also register as an overseas elector if you have been previously resident in Southend-on-Sea but have never been registered to vote. This includes:

  • if you were resident in Southend-on-Sea but not registered
  • you were too young to register when you left the UK
  • if you had no fixed abode when you left the UK and you would have been eligible to make a declaration of local connection or if you left the UK before 2001 (when declaration of local connection provisions were not in force).

To register as an overseas voter, follow these steps:

Step 1: Apply to register to vote online or complete an application form and return to

Step 2: Once you are registered you will need to apply for your 'absent vote' either for a postal vote or a proxy vote (someone to vote on your behalf).

Voting by post - overseas electors

Overseas electors can apply for a postal vote but please bear in mind that whilst we send postal ballots as early as possible, at some elections this may only be approximately 10 days before polling day.

In these circumstances, we find that voters living overseas may be unable to get their ballot pack back to the UK before the deadline (10pm) on polling day. Votes received after 10pm cannot be accepted.

Given the inevitable delays involved with sending a postal vote overseas, you may wish to appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf at your allocated polling station in Southend. You can apply online for postal vote.

Voting by proxy - overseas electors

We recommend that overseas voters consider allocating a proxy to vote - on their behalf.

Your proxy can be from anywhere in the UK as long as they are also registered and eligible to vote in the election in which you are voting.

Your proxy will need to vote at your allocated polling station in Southend-on-Sea (not at their own).

However, if it is impractical for your proxy to travel to Southend-on-Sea, for example, because they live outside of the City, then they may apply to vote by post on your behalf. Postal proxy application forms can be requested by calling the Electoral Services team on 01702 215010.

A postal proxy vote application from your proxy cannot be processed unless we also receive a proxy vote application from you. You can apply online for a proxy vote.

How do I tell you I have changed address?

If you are a registered overseas elector and you have moved address, please email us at

Renewing your declaration

Overseas voters must renew their registration approximately every 3 years to retain their right to vote from abroad.

If you do not renew your registration, your name will be removed from the electoral register.

We will send a renewal form to you before your declaration is due to expire.

Important - if you are an existing overseas elector, you cannot renew your overseas declaration by making a new application. You must respond to your renewal declaration that we send you.

Contact Electoral Registration

Telephone: 01702 215010

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