Guidance for (Acting) Returning Officers administering a UK Parliamentary election in Great Britain

Production of postal voting stationery

As part of your planning, you will have decided whether the production of postal voting stationery and the issuing of postal votes will be carried out in-house or outsourced. 

Further guidance to support your decision-making on outsourcing can be found in our guidance on managing contractors and suppliers.

Cross-boundary constituencies

If, as (A)RO, you are responsible for a constituency that crosses local authority boundaries you will need to establish whether your software system is able to correctly read the data provided by the other authority/authorities.

You will also need to ensure you are able to get the data to printers for the production of the postal voting stationery. You will need to liaise with the other authority/authorities at the earliest opportunity.

Contents of postal ballot pack

Contents of postal ballot pack

You must send a postal ballot pack to all eligible postal voters.1  Postal ballot packs must include:2  

  • an outgoing envelope 
  • return envelopes: envelope ‘A’ (the ballot paper envelope) and envelope ‘B’ (the covering envelope for the return of envelope ‘A’ and the postal voting statement)
  • a ballot paper 
  • a postal voting statement 

In addition you must issue instructional information ensuring that those entitled to vote by post are able to obtain:3  

  • translations into other languages of any directions to or guidance for voters sent with the ballot paper
  • a translation into Braille of such directions or guidance
  • a graphical representation of such directions or guidance
  • the directions or guidance in any other form (including any audible form)
Last updated: 19 December 2023