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Absent voters signature refresh

Why we contact absent voters

In line with current legislation, the Electoral Registration Officer for each electoral area must send a notice in writing to every absent voter, whose signature on the Electoral Register’s personal identifier’s record is more than five years old, by 31 January each year.

We will:

  • need these absent voters to provide a fresh specimen signature if they wish to remain an absent voter; and
  • inform them of the date on which they would cease to be entitled to vote by post or by proxy in the event of a failure or refusal to provide a fresh signature i.e. six weeks from the date of the initial notice

The initial notice will be posted to all affected electors in January 2021.

The purpose for collecting this refreshed data is to ensure that we hold as accurate a record as possible and thereby potentially limit the number of postal votes that are rejected due to mismatched identifiers or signatures.

If an absent voter has not responded within three weeks of the original notice, a reminder notice will be sent. Any absent voter who does not respond to this reminder notice will be written to during February 2021 to inform them that their absent vote has been cancelled and that they can either:

  • apply for a new application to vote by post; or
  • vote in person at their polling station in future elections

Any absent voter who no longer wishes to vote by post can tick the relevant box on the form and return it in the pre-paid envelope provided.

If you have any queries regarding the refreshing of an absent vote personal identifier, contact the elections team.

Help and advice on completing the form

On receiving your signature refresh form, read the information letter before completing the form in black ink.

  • check that all your details are correct. If they are not correct please contact Electoral Services for further guidance
  • sign your normal signature (keep your signature within the inside of the box)
  • provision of your date of birth is optional. Should you wish to provide this again, please enter your date of birth, ensuring that all boxes are completed, using zeros where necessary, e.g. 09 04 1983
  • return the completed form in the pre-paid envelope

Should you not be able to provide a signature because of injury or disability, contact the elections team.


  • Initial notice - early January 2021
  • Reminder notice -  early February 2021
  • Removal notice -  week commencing 24 February 2021

Last updated Friday, 8th January 2021

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