Running electoral registration - Scotland

Requirement for electors to re-apply or refresh their absent vote arrangements

Refresh requirements for postal voters at Scottish Parliamentary and Local council elections 

Electors who have a permanent postal voting arrangement for Scottish Parliamentary and/or Local council elections must be notified when their signature on the personal identifiers record is more than five years old that a fresh signature is required for their postal voting arrangement to continue.1  

Requirement for domestic postal voters at UK Parliamentary elections to reapply 

A domestic elector can apply for a postal vote arrangement for UK Parliamentary elections to be in place for a definite period or a maximum period of up to three years. The restriction on the length of time a postal vote arrangement can be made for means that if the elector wishes the arrangement to remain in place for longer than that, they will be required to make a new application when their current arrangement period ends. 

You must notify domestic electors who have a postal vote arrangement in place for the maximum period at UK Parliamentary elections before their existing arrangement ends to inform them of the date on which their arrangement will end and how to make a fresh application.  

For more information, see our guidance on managing the process for informing postal voters of the requirement to re-apply.  

Refresh requirements for electors (excluding overseas electors) with a proxy voting arrangement at any poll 

Electors (except for overseas electors) who have a proxy voting arrangement for any poll must be notified when their signature on the personal identifiers record is more than five years old that a fresh signature is required for their proxy voting arrangement to continue.2  For more information, see our guidance on refreshing absent vote signatures.

Overseas electors with absent voting arrangements for UK Parliamentary elections

The absent voting arrangements for overseas electors is linked to their electoral registration. They are required to reapply for their postal voting arrangement or refresh their proxy vote signature when they renew their registration as an overseas elector. 

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.

Last updated: 12 December 2023