Running electoral registration - Scotland

Confirming the outcome of a proxy vote application

You must write to applicants to let them know whether their application has been accepted or rejected. If an application is rejected, you must give the reason(s) why.1 There is an appeal procedure for applications for an absent vote which have been disallowed.

When you grant an application, you must confirm that the proxy has been appointed, the name and address of the proxy and the duration of their appointment.2 The proxy must also be notified of their appointment.3  

Where an application will not be determined in a timeframe for the proxy to be able to vote at a particular poll, you should notify the applicant that the determination will not be made in time for that particular poll, but that the proxy vote will be in place for future polls. 

The form of the proxy paper for confirming the proxy of their appointment is prescribed4 except for where the proxy has been appointed to vote at a Scottish Parliamentary election when the appointment is made by a proxy paper issued by the ERO.5 However, you may combine the proxy paper for a Scottish Parliamentary election with a proxy paper issued in respect of any other poll.6  

You should ensure that the confirmation letter sets out which polls the proxy vote application relates to, particularly if the proxy vote is not for a specific poll. If the elector has not applied for a proxy vote for all polls, you should advise them how they can apply for a proxy vote for any other polls and any relevant application deadlines.

Confirmations are an opportunity to safeguard against potential fraud or misunderstanding on the part of the elector or the proxy. You may, additionally, decide to acknowledge receipt of applications. If an elector receives an acknowledgement for a proxy vote that they have not requested, receipt of the acknowledgement would give the elector an opportunity to get in touch with you.

All responses, along with any confirmation notices or acknowledgements returned to you as undelivered/not known at this address, should be monitored and, if you have concerns, you should contact your SPOC for advice. For further information, see our guidance on identifying suspicious absent vote applications.

Last updated: 12 December 2023