Postal and Proxy Voting Signature Refresh 2013
Absent Voters (i.e. those who vote by post or proxy) are required to provide their signature and date of birth when they first apply ('personal identifiers').
When postal voters are sent their postal ballot paper for an election they are required to provide their signature and date of birth on the postal voting statement. These 'personal identifiers' are checked against those provided on the original postal vote application form, to ensure that they match. This is a security measure to prevent the possibility of electoral fraud. If they do not match, the vote cannot be counted. Personal identifiers are always kept separate from ballot papers, so no-one knows how anyone has voted.
An important part of these security measures is providing a fresh specimen signature every 5 years, as people's signatures and circumstances can change over time. The legislation requires the Electoral Registration Officer to commence this year's annual refresh of signatures by 31 January 2013 in order to ensure that the signatures for as many absent voters as possible are refreshed, producing as accurate a record as possible. This will potentially limit the number of postal votes that are rejected due to mis-matched identifiers.
Therefore, anyone who has had a postal, proxy or postal proxy since January 2008 will be sent a signature refresh form, asking them to provide a fresh signature.
If you have been an absent voter for more than five years please look out for the form being sent to your address at the end of January 2013. Please make sure you sign and return it as soon as possible, as we are legally required to send a reminder 3 weeks later to everyone who does not respond. You can help the Council to save money by replying promptly; this will save us having to send you a reminder.
If you have a disability which means that you either cannot provide a signature or sign in a consistent and distinctive way, please indicate this on the form or contact the electoral services team on 01476 406125 / 406542.
If you no longer want to vote by post please respond by ticking the relevant box on the form and return it to us as soon as possible in order to avoid any unnecessary reminders.
If we do not receive a completed new form from you by the deadline of 14 March 2013, your existing absent vote facility will be cancelled and you will have to vote in person or make a new application.
South Kesteven District Council will be sending the Refresh Notices by 31 January 2013. A reminder notice will be sent to everyone who has not responded by 21 February 2013. Where no response has been received by 14 March 2013 the absent vote will be cancelled.
If you have any questions about the Absent Vote Signature Refresh Form please get in touch with South Kesteven District Council's Electoral Services office on 01476 406125 / 406542 / 406118 or email email@example.com