Absent Voters (i.e. those who vote by post or proxy) are required to provide a signature and date of birth when they first apply.
When you are sent your postal vote for an election you are required to provide your signature and date of birth on a postal voting statement. These 'personal identifiers' are checked against those you provided on your original postal vote application form, to ensure that they match. This is to prevent someone else from using your vote. If they do not match, your vote cannot be counted. Your personal identifiers are always kept separate from your ballot paper, so no-one knows how you have voted.
An important part of these security measures is providing a fresh specimen signature every 5 years, since people's signatures and circumstances can change over time. This helps to maintain as accurate a record as possible and potentially limiting the number of postal votes that are rejected due to mismatched identifiers.
If you are sent a signature refresh form from us
Please make sure you sign and return it ASAP as we legally have to send a reminder 3 weeks later to everyone who does not respond and this costs us more money.
If you have a disability which means that you either cannot provide a signature or sign in a consistent and distinctive way, please contact us.
If you no longer want to vote by post you must respond by ticking the relevant box on the form and return it to us as soon as possible in order to avoid any unnecessary reminders.
If you do not return the signature refresh form by the deadline your existing absent vote facility will be cancelled and you will have to vote in person or make a new application.
This Absent Vote signature refresh exercise will be undertaken each year.
For further information contact the Electoral Services Team.
Tel: 01386 565437 between 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday