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Absent vote signature refresh

We are currently conducting the absent vote signature refresh. Since people's signatures and circumstances can change over time, the law requires each absent voter (postal and proxy voters) to provide a fresh sample signature every 5 years. This process is in place to ensure the accuracy and security of the absent voting system.

How this works

Each year, we write to those electors that fall within the 5-year renewal period with the signature refresh form. Please review the form you have received, and if you wish to continue to have an absent vote arrangement in place, sign the form in the relevant box and provide your date of birth for our records. The form will come with a pre-paid envelope so that you can return this to us free of charge.

Change of details

If you have received a postal/proxy vote refresh form and your name, address, the address for your postal ballot papers or the details of your proxy have changed, please amend the relevant details on the form. Please then sign the form and provide your date of birth before sending it back to us. In some cases, we may need to send you an additional form to complete.

Problems completing the form

If you have a disability/illness/injury which means that you either cannot provide a signature or sign in a consistent and distinctive way, please indicate this on the form and return it to the Elections Office. The Electoral Registration Officer may grant you a 'waiver' of the requirement to provide a signature, subject to an additional form being witnessed on your behalf. Alternatively, please use the contact information below for further assistance and guidance.

If you no longer require your absent vote arrangement

If you no longer want to vote by post/proxy you must respond by ticking the relevant box on the form, signing the form and then returning it to us as soon as possible so that we can cancel your arrangement and avoid any unnecessary reminders. We will contact you in writing to confirm that your arrangement has been cancelled.

Failure to return the form

If you do not respond to the request, we will send you a final reminder after three weeks. If we do not receive a response within six weeks, your absent vote arrangement will be cancelled. 

I have a postal/proxy vote arrangement, but I have not received a refresh form

The signature refresh exercise will happen every year, but we will only send refresh forms to those voters who fall within the 5-year period. Members of the same household may receive a signature refresh form in different years. It will depend on when your initial absent vote application was completed and approved. You will not need to provide a refresh of your personal identifiers (signature and date of birth) until 5 years has passed since your original application. You will only need to update your record when you receive correspondence from us.

Contact us

If you have any further questions regarding signature refresh, please contact [email protected] or contact us on 0300 126 7000.

If you are contacting us by email, please include your full postal address in your email and where possible, a contact telephone number.

Last updated 23 January 2023