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Absent Voter Five Yearly Signature Update

Electoral Registration Officers are legally required to write to all absent voters whose signature on their application form is over five years old, and request that they provide a fresh one.  To accommodate this a form is sent to each relevant absent voter.  Absent voters are those who have made arrangements either to vote by post or have appointed someone to vote on their behalf (a proxy).  Absent voters are required to provide a personal identifier when applying to vote by post or by proxy, which consists of a signature and date of birth.  It is only the signature that needs to be updated to maintain the absent voting arrangement.  Absent voters who have been granted a waiver (where they do not have to provide their signature) are not affected by this.

 

At an election, for those who vote by post, the signature provided is matched against the signature we receive with the postal ballot papers.  This is to assist in deterring misuse of the entitlement to vote and tries to ensure that nobody steals the postal vote. 

 

Remember, this is a personal identifier for the voter concerned and no other person can sign the form on behalf of the elector.  To cancel an absent voting arrangement the form will need to be returned indicating this.

 

The form must be returned within six weeks of the date of issue.  Failure to do so will result in the absent voting arrangement being cancelled.  If an absent vote is cancelled the voter will be required to vote in person at their designated polling station.  This does not prevent a new application to vote by post or proxy being made in the future.

 

For further information contact:

 

Electoral Registration Team

Democratic and Registration Services Group

Borough Hall

Cauldwell Street

Bedford

MK42 9AP

 

Tel: 01234 276916 

E-mail: electoral.registration@bedford.gov.uk

 

Issued by the Deputy Electoral Registration Officer

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