Running electoral registration - Scotland

Running electoral registration - Scotland

This guidance has been produced to support Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) in planning for and delivering well-run electoral registration services. 

It has been developed in close consultation with colleagues across the electoral community including the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE), the Association of Electoral Administrators (AEA), the Scottish Assessors Association (SAA), the UK Electoral Coordination and Advisory Board (ECAB), the Elections, Registration and Referendums Working Group (ERRWG) and the Welsh Electoral Practitioners Working Group (WEPWG).

It reflects the ERO’s legal obligations and what we, and colleagues across the electoral community, believe that EROs should expect of their staff in planning for and delivering well-run electoral registration services.

The guidance is directed towards the ERO and the duties they carry out. As these duties may, in practice, be carried out by deputies and/or appointed staff, we use the term ‘you’ throughout this guidance to mean the ERO and whoever is carrying out the ERO’s functions on their behalf. 

Throughout this guidance we use ‘must’ to refer to a specific legal requirement and ‘may / should’ for recommended practice.

To help you use this guidance we have produced a Q&A document that should answer any initial queries you may have. 

Updates to our guidance

Date of updateDescription of change
November 2022Voter Authority Certificates and Anonymous Elector's Documents guidance added.
December 2022Emergency proxy provisions updated.
February 2023

Updates to:

March 2023Update to guidance on the management of photos submitted for Voter Authority Certificate and Anonymous Elector Document applications.
April 2023

Updates to:

  • Guidance on the use of information supplied as part of an application for a Voter Authority Certificate or Anonymous Elector's Document.
  • The processing of Crown Servant applications
September 2023Updated guidance on Absent Voting (Post commencement of Elections Act measures) added
October 2023

Managing requests for postal vote applications guidance added to support decision making on the issue of a standalone or combined application form.

Updates to:

Confirming the outcome of a postal vote application where an elector may be eligible to vote by post in a different type of poll.

Requirement to provide a fresh signature following a rejection notice where you are managing multiple absent voting records for an individual. 

Changes have been made on what to consider where a deadline for determination of absent vote applications does not exist, in the following guidance:

Processing errors when inputting information for ID verification for postal vote applications (Post commencement)

Determining postal vote applications close to a poll (Post commencement)

Exceptions process for postal vote applications (Post commencement)

The attestation process for postal vote applications (Post commencement)

Determining applications for postal votes following the exceptions or attestation process (post commencement)

Processing errors when inputting information for ID verification for proxy vote applications (Post commencement)

Determining proxy vote applications close to a poll (Post commencement)

The exceptions process for proxy vote applications (Post commencement)

The attestation process for proxy vote applications (Post commencement)

Determining applications for proxy vote following the exceptions or attestation process (Post commencement)

December 2023Updated guidance on Overseas Electors (Post commencement of Elections Act measures) added