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Signature refresh for postal and proxy voters

If you are a postal voter, you will be asked to send us an up-to-date signature every five years. Find out more about how we do this.

At the time of an election, as a postal voter, you are required to provide your signature and date of birth on a postal voting statement.

These 'personal identifiers' are checked against those provided on your original postal vote application form, to ensure that they match. This is to prevent someone else from using your postal vote fraudulently.

Your personal identifiers are always kept separate from your ballot paper, so no one knows how you have voted.

As an important part of these security measures, all postal voters must provide a fresh specimen signature every five years, so we have sent out forms to postal voters in the borough asking for an up-to-date signature.

Signature refresh timetable

  • On 29 January 2018, electors whose signature is more than five years old were sent a form requesting an up-to-date signature.
  • Please sign and return your form as soon as possible so that we can avoid sending reminder letters - reminders will be issued on 19 February 2018.

  • If you no longer want a postal vote, you must respond by ticking the relevant box on the form and return it to us as soon as possible in order to avoid any unnecessary reminders.

  • If we do not receive your completed form by 12 March 2018, your postal voting arrangement will be cancelled. This will mean that in the event of an election you would need to vote in person at your designated polling station, or re-apply for a postal vote by submitting a new application.

  • If your postal voting arrangement is removed, we will notify you in writing.

  • If you cannot provide a signature, cannot sign in a consistent and distinctive way, or have difficulty reading and writing, please indicate this on the form and return it to the Elections Office. The Electoral Registration Officer may grant you a 'waiver' of the requirement to provide a signature, subject to an additional form being witnessed on your behalf. 

How can I find out more?

If you need more information or help, please contact the elections office: by emailing: electoralservices@guildford.gov.uk (please include your contact phone number).

faq icon + 21249 Who has the signature refresh letter been sent to?

The letter has been sent to every elector in Guildford whose postal vote application is more than five years old.

faq icon + 21250 Why has no one else in my household received a form?

If someone else in your household votes by post but does not receive a notice, it is because their signature is less than five years old.

faq icon + 21251 Why must I supply a fresh signature?

By law, the Electoral Registration Officer must obtain a fresh signature from postal voters where the signature held is more than five years old. Signatures change for many reasons, including illness, frailty, marriage, divorce etc. In addition, some absent voters will have moved house and not told us. Therefore, this process helps us to ensure that our records are as up to date as possible and to delete any absent votes that are no longer required or valid.

faq icon + 21252 I cannot provide a signature - what should I do?

If you cannot provide a signature, or sign in a consistent and distinctive way, or have difficulty reading and writing, please indicate this on the form and return it to the Elections Office. The Electoral Registration Officer may grant you a 'waiver' of the requirement to provide a signature, subject to an additional form being witnessed on your behalf. If you would like more information on signature waivers before returning your form, please contact the Elections Office.

faq icon + 21253 What about my date of birth?

You are not required to provide your date of birth again. However, if you do, we will be able to double check that our records are correct.

faq icon + 21254 I have completed the form using blue ink - not black. Is this acceptable?

If the signature is not acceptable, we will send another notice in the form of a reminder. Sometimes the scanner will read the signature if a firm hand has been used. If you think you can go over the signature again using black ink, please do so.

faq icon + 21255 My surname has changed since I completed the last postal vote application

If you have received a notice addressed in your previous name, please contact the Elections Office for assistance.

faq icon + 21256 A form has been sent to someone who has passed away.

We are very sorry for any distress that this may have caused. In order to remove a deceased person from our register we need to have received either a copy of the death certificate or formal notification from the registrars' office (we receive weekly updates from registrars of deaths within Surrey). Read more >

faq icon + 21257 Is this a genuine request? I am concerned that the letter may be a scam.

Please be assured that this request is genuine. By law, we have to undertake an exercise in January each year to obtain a new signature from absent voters where the signatures we hold are more than five years old.

faq icon + 21258 I have moved out of the area but have received a notice for my old address

Please state on the form you have received that you have moved out of the area and wish to be removed from our electoral roll. Read more >

faq icon + 21259 I no longer wish to vote by post - how do I cancel my postal voting arrangement?

If you no longer want to vote by post, you must respond by ticking the relevant box on the form and return it to us as soon as possible, in order to avoid any unnecessary reminders.

faq icon + 21260 What happens if I do not return my form in time for the deadline?

The deadline to respond to the form is 12 March 2018. If no fresh signature is received by this date, your postal voting arrangement will be removed. This will mean that in the event of an election, you would need to vote in person at your designated polling station, or re-apply for a postal vote by submitting a new application.