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

Tips for proof checking

When producing guidance to support your staff with proof checking election materials particular attention should be paid to checking that:

  • every detail on all printing materials is spelt correctly
  • electors’ names and addresses are accurate and match those on the electoral register / absent voting lists
  • materials being sent to electors are the correct ones for them (e.g. the ballot paper is the correct one for their electoral area; postal proxies are being sent postal proxy poll cards) 
  • where relevant, the correct deadlines appear (for example, for postal/proxy applications on poll cards)
  • where a form is prescribed, that it meets the prescribed requirements 

 For the ballot paper, you should also check that: 

  • the directions for printing have been followed precisely
  • the official mark and unique identifying mark are correctly printed
  • the ballot paper includes the details of all validly nominated candidates for that particular electoral area; as part of this you should check that:
    • all candidate names (or commonly used name(s) where relevant) are correct
    • where relevant, party names, descriptions and emblems are correct and as registered on the Commission’s register of political parties
    • the instructions at the top of each ballot paper are the correct ones for the electoral area

For the postal voting statement, you should also check that: 

  • the correct ballot paper numbers are printed 
  • the correct voting instructions for the electoral area are included
Last updated: 19 December 2023