Absent vote - signature refresh
If you have a postal or a proxy vote that is more than five years old then you will receive a signature refresh form and a pre-paid envelope to send the form back to our scanning contractor.
Look out for a signature refresh form coming through your door
If you have an absent vote (a postal or a proxy vote) that is more than five years old then we are legally required to request a fresh signature from you.
We must carry out the annual refresh by 1 March 2018. You will receive a signature refresh form and a pre-paid envelope to send the form back to our scanning contractor.
Help us to save money by signing the form (in black ink) and posting it straight away so that we don't have to send you a reminder. If you no longer want to vote by post please make sure you tick the relevant box on the form and return it.
If you have a disability which means that you either cannot provide a signature or sign in a consistent way, please contact contact Electoral Services for advice.
If we don't receive a response after six weeks, your absent vote will be cancelled. You will still be able to vote in person at a polling station or you may submit a fresh absent voter application form.
Why is a new signature required?
When you are sent your postal vote at election time, 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. This is to ensure that your vote cannot be used by anyone else. These details are not used for any other purpose.
An important part of these security measures is providing a fresh specimen signature every five years, since people's signatures and circumstances can change over time.