Identifying suspicious absent vote applications

Identifying suspicious absent vote applications (Pre-commencement of Elections Act measures)

You are uniquely placed to identify incidents and patterns of activity that might indicate electoral fraud in your area. There are no definitive signs of absent vote application fraud, and each specific case will be different.
 
The following could, depending on the context of the local area and the specific circumstances surrounding any application or applications, be indicators of possible fraud:

  • a number of application forms completed in the same hand
  • unusually large numbers of absent vote applications in any particular area
  • unusually large numbers of postal and postal proxy redirections to one particular property or properties
  • unusually large numbers of proxy attestations
  • unusually large numbers of signature waiver requests. For example:
    • large numbers of applications assisted or signed by one person with no plausible explanation 
    • large numbers of applications from one street or area with no plausible explanation 
  • signature and date of birth provided on the application form is inconsistent with data that you already hold
  • acknowledgements or confirmation notices returned as undelivered

You should put in place mechanisms that will help to identify suspicious absent vote applications including:

  • training for office staff on what to look out for
  • regular data reviews to identify patterns
  • considering how to share data about patterns of applications with local political parties and elected representatives to improve transparency and confidence, so that they can help identify any applications which might be suspicious

Our guidance on identifying suspicious registration applications has more information on liaising with your local police Single Point Of Contact (SPOC).

Last updated: 5 September 2023