Refreshing absent vote signatures

Each year, by 31 January, you must send a notice in writing to:1  

  • postal voters for Scottish Parliamentary and local council elections 
  • all proxy voters (with the exception of overseas electors)

whose signatures became more than five years old in the 12 months since the last refresh. 

Absent voters who have been granted a waiver do not have a signature held on record and are therefore not affected by the refresh provisions.

Indefinite proxy voting arrangements for overseas electors 

An overseas elector’s indefinite proxy voting arrangement is directly linked to their electoral registration and will require a fresh signature to be provided by the third 1 November calculated from the original date of their addition to the register. 

An exception exists where the proxy vote application has been made on or after the 1 July but before the 1 November in the same year as the overseas elector declaration is due to expire. In these circumstances the overseas elector will not be required to provide a fresh signature when the existing declaration expires on the 1 November and will only need to do so when the declaration is next due for renewal 3 years later.

For example, if an overseas elector’s declaration is due to expire on the 1 November 2024 and they apply for a proxy on the 1 July 2024 and providing they renew their overseas declaration before it expires on 1 November 2024, they will not be required to provide a signature refresh until the declaration renewal period in 2027.  

Diweddarwyd ddiwethaf: 12 Rhagfyr 2023