Major changes to the way voters can apply for postal and proxy votes come into effect from Tuesday (31 October).
The changes, contained in the Government's Elections Act 2022, mean voters now have to include their National Insurance number when applying for a postal or proxy vote to allow their identity to be verified by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).When an application cannot be verified by the DWP, applicants must provide additional documentary evidence to verify their identity or submit an attestation to confirm their identity. Other changes include the option of applying for postal and proxy votes online, and a requirement for voters to renew postal and proxy votes after a set period.
From Tuesday, postal votes must be renewed every three years. Voters who already have a postal vote do not have to renew until 31 January 2026.
Proxy votes can still be arranged for an indefinite period, but will be subject to an eligibility check every three years and a signature ‘refresh’ every five years.In all cases, the council's electoral services team intends to contact postal and proxy voters before votes need to be renewed.