Running electoral registration - Scotland

Requirement to provide a fresh signature following a rejection notice

If you have sent a rejection on the grounds that the signature provided on the returned postal voting statement does not match the example held on the personal identifiers record for that type of poll (and the person continues to be shown on that record as an absent voter) you may require the absent voter to provide a fresh signature for the personal identifiers record. This could be done at the same time as you send them the rejection notice.1  

Where you do require the absent voter to provide you with a fresh signature, you must inform them of the date (six weeks from the date of the notice) on which they would cease to be entitled to vote by post in the event of a failure or refusal to provide a fresh signature.2  

If the absent voter has not responded to the notice within three weeks from the date on which the notice was sent, you must send a reminder notice that is a copy of the contents of the original notice.3  

The notice and any reminder notice must be sent to the current or last known address of the absent voter and must be accompanied by a pre-addressed, prepaid reply envelope for any address in the United Kingdom.4     

It is important for you to establish a clear audit trail for this process as the date specified on the notice sent to the absent voter determines whether the absent voter has failed or refused to provide a fresh signature within the specified time frame. If they have not responded by the deadline, you must:5  

  • remove that person’s entry from the postal voters list or postal proxy voters list, as appropriate, and
  • where a person has been removed from the postal proxy list, you must also notify the elector

Some absent voters in Scotland will have two absent voting records for the different types of polls. As part of managing postal vote rejections for one poll type you should think about how to ensure any potential issues with the other record are also identified. 

Last updated: 12 December 2023