Residents in the Ribble Valley borough have been advised about changes to postal and proxy voting registration.

From October 31, the Government introduced changes for ‘absent voters' which will apply to all forthcoming elections in England.

This means anyone who votes by post or who votes on behalf of someone else, also known as a ‘proxy voter’.

The main changes are: postal and proxy voters can now apply online to vote and a valid proof of identity will be needed for all for all applications, postal voters will need to renew their applications every three years and proxy voters will now have limits on the number of people they can vote on behalf of.

The new online system is provided by the UK Government.

It is a similar process as registering to vote and voters will need to provide their National Insurance number as proof of identity, as well as a signature.

Voters can still apply for a postal or proxy vote by completing an application form and sending this to their local authority

The Ribble Valley Council’s electoral officer, Jane Horsfield, said: “It is important that any Ribble Valley residents who vote by post or proxy or who are considering making an application, are aware of these changes.

“The best way to apply for a postal or proxy vote is via the online portal.

"Voters should be aware that processing of applications may take longer than normal, and we are therefore urging them to act now in time for any forthcoming elections so that they can retain, or apply for, their right to vote.”