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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice

Absent Vote Signature Refresh

All postal and proxy voters must make a written application to the Electoral Registration Officer for their voting area, providing their date of birth, and with the exception of those who are unable to sign in a consistent manner, a sample of their signature. These signatures and dates of birth area stored securely for electoral purposes and are known as 'personal identifiers'.

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 identifiers record is more than five years old by 31 January each year.

The initial notices will be sent to electors in the East Dorset, West Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck and Weymouth and Portland authority areas around the 18 of January. Anybody who does not respond to the initial notice will receive a reminder around the 17 of February. If no response is then received a notice will be sent out around the March 1 advising the elector that their postal/proxy vote has been removed and if they require to continue to vote by post or proxy they need to make a new declaration.

The purpose of this process is to ensure that the information held is as accurate as possible to limit the number of postal votes rejected due to a miss match of signatures.

The forms are being dealt with by an external organisation and all forms should be returned to the following address - Electoral Reform Services, London, N81 1ER.

Help and advice on completing the form

  • check all the details are correct
  • sign with your normal signature
  • if you do not wish to continue with the postal/proxy vote please tick the relevant box
  • the supply of your date of birth is optional
  • return in the pre-paid envelope as soon as possible

If you are unable to provide a consistent signature, or you are assisting somebody to complete the form who cannot, please contact the Electoral Services Team.

If you have received a form other members of your household have not, it may be that you applied for your postal vote at a different to others and their 5 year period may not be the same. If you think that you applied at the same time please contact the elections team and we will check the detail for you and if necessary send out a form.

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