Running electoral registration - Scotland

Transitional arrangements for proxy vote applications

The commencement of The Representation of the People (Postal and Proxy Voting etc.) (Amendment) Regulations 2023 will take place from 31 October 2023 and will impact proxy vote applications made for UK Parliamentary elections. 

New applications received on or after the 31 October 2023 commencement 

All proxy vote applications received for UK Parliamentary elections on or after commencement must satisfy the new requirements including information for the verification of personal identifiers.1  

Where an application does not contain the required information, you should, where possible, make enquiries to obtain the missing information. If the missing information is not submitted, the application cannot be accepted. You should write to the elector, explain why the application has not been accepted and how to make a fresh application. 

New applications received but not determined by 31 October 2023 commencement 

Any applications for UK Parliamentary elections that have been received but have not been determined by 31 October 2023 commencement must be rejected. You must write to the elector explain why the application has been rejected and how to make a fresh application. 

Notifying existing proxy voters of the requirement to reapply

On 31 October 2023 when the new provisions commence you must send a notice to every domestic elector with an existing proxy vote arrangement for UK Parliamentary elections and tell them that:

  • their proxy vote entitlement is to end on 31 January 2024 
  • they will need to re-apply if they want to continue to vote by proxy and how to make a fresh application.2  

You can also use this communication to let electors know that any proxy arrangement they have for other polls is not affected.

Transitional arrangements for overseas electors with proxy votes

Proxy arrangements will end on 31 January 2024 for overseas electors who, before the commencement of The Representation of the People (Postal and Proxy Voting etc.) (Amendment) Regulations 2023, applied for a new proxy voting arrangement or have an existing proxy voting arrangement, unless they make a new application.3  

Proxy vote applications made after the commencement of The Representation of the People (Postal and Proxy Voting etc.) (Amendment) Regulations 2023 on 31 October 2023 will require the signature to be refreshed at the point the existing overseas declaration expires. If the proxy vote application is made before the commencement of the overseas elector regulations on 16 January 2024, or after commencement and the overseas elector is not yet on a 3 year renewal cycle, the overseas elector will be required to provide a fresh signature when their current overseas registration expires, which will not exceed 12 months. 

However, an automatic signature extension will be applied where: 

  • the new proxy vote application is made post-commencement of The Representation of the People (Postal and Proxy Voting etc.) (Amendment) Regulations 2023
  • the elector’s overseas registration has not yet moved from the 12 month renewal process to the new 3 year renewal process 
  • the proxy application was made less than 3 months before the existing overseas elector declaration is due to be renewed 

If the elector does renew their declaration, the effect of that extension will be that the elector will not be required to provide a signature until their declaration is next due for renewal.

Our guidance on overseas electors is being updated to reflect changes as a result of the Elections Act 2022.  A link will be provided here once this guidance has been published.

Applications for a proxy vote from attainers made and determined before commencement on 31 October 2023

If an applicant who is registered as an attainer makes an application for a proxy vote for UK Parliamentary elections and it is determined before 31 October 2023 the arrangement comes into effect once they turn 18.

Last updated: 12 December 2023