Running electoral registration - Scotland

Issuing temporary Voter Authority Certificates

Where a permanent Voter Authority Certificate has been issued (printed by the centrally procured supplier appointed by DLUHC) between 5pm 6 working days before an election (or the last day of a petition) and 5pm on the day of the election or signing of the petition (or the start of the last hour that the petition is available to sign if earlier than 5pm), and you are satisfied that it may not be delivered to an applicant in time to be used on polling day or for a petition, a temporary Voter Authority Certificate may also be produced and issued locally,1 up until the close of poll on the date of the relevant poll or the close of petition on the last day for signing the relevant petition.

A decision on whether a temporary Voter Authority Certificate is needed may be due to the proximity of the forthcoming polling day or final day of petition, or it could be because you are aware of another issue, such as a postal strike.

A temporary Voter Authority Certificate is valid only on the relevant date of a specific election or for the remaining period of a petition. It must be collected by the applicant; it cannot be sent via post.

A temporary Voter Authority Certificate must include:2

  • the elector’s full name
  • the date of issue
  • the name of the local authority by which the ERO was appointed
  • an appropriate identifier
  • the date for which the temporary Voter Authority Certificate is valid
  • the applicant’s photograph3  
  • the ERO’s signature

The appropriate identifier is made up of 20 numbers or letters which you allocate to each temporary Voter Authority Certificate.4 This will be generated by the EROP.

The ERO’s signature can be provided by a deputy and should be a wet ink signature. You may need to consider appointing additional deputy ERO’s with the power to sign temporary Voter Authority Certificates, for example for use at additional locations where they may need to be produced. You could alternatively use an electronic signature or stamp but if doing so you should also consider what additional local security measure to identify the documents as authentic.

The date for which the temporary Voter Authority Certificate is valid will be the date of the election or final day of a petition. In the case of a petition, the certificate is valid for use on any day up to and including the final day of signing. 

You must update the permanent Voter Authority Certificate issued document record entry to indicate where a temporary Voter Authority Certificate has been produced and this entry should include the appropriate identifier of that temporary document, and the date on which it is valid.

Last updated: 14 March 2023