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ITEM 7
REPORT OF
THE STRATEGIC DIRECTOR OF CUSTOMER AND SUPPORT SERVICES
TO THE
ECCLES COMMUNITY COMMITTEE
27TH NOVEMBER, 2007
POSTAL VOTES AND VOTING - GUIDANCE
1.
Purpose of Report
At the meeting of the Community Committee held on 25th September, 2007,
the issue was raised as to whether people currently holding a postal vote,
needed to re-register to retain this entitlement. This report provides a detailed
overview of all aspects of postal voting, including procedures for making
applications for postal votes, and their renewal.
2.
Details
What is postal voting?
If you are unable to vote in person you can apply for a postal vote. You may
wish to use a postal vote for a number of reasons. If your work or study
regularly takes you away from home; because you will be on holiday on
polling day; because you are in poor health; or simply because it is more
convenient for you. You can apply for a postal vote at any time of the year,
you do not have to wait until the election.
Voting by post - the Electoral Administration Act 2006
The Government has recently approved the Electoral Administration Act 2006,
which along with a number of other changes to elections and electoral
registration has introduced new anti fraud measures for absent voting at
elections. A fact sheet on absent vote personal identifiers, is attached at
Appendix A to this report.
How is it changing?

Already a postal voter?
In January, 2007 you will have received a letter from the City Council asking
that you provide a new signature, and give details of your date of birth. This is
known as your 'Personal Identifier' information. If you failed to provide a new
signature and your date of birth within the six week deadline, your postal vote
would have been cancelled. (If this was the case, and you didn’t subsequently
reapply you would NOT have received a postal vote for the Local Government
elections held in May 2007) However, you can make a fresh application to
vote by post, if you wish to do so.
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
Protecting the Electors
Declarations of identity, that not only required your signature but also a
witness signature and address, have now been replaced by a simpler postal
vote statement, that you will be asked to sign, and insert your date of birth.
What happens next?
At election time, when your postal ballot paper is sent to you, as well as
marking a cross on the ballot paper, you will also need to provide your date of
birth, and signature, on a postal vote statement.
This information will then be cross checked, and be used to help any
investigations into allegations about election fraud which might arise.
The date of birth and signature requirement, termed 'Personal Identifiers' will
remain confidential to the elections service, and will only be used for elections
purposes.
Postal voting is another way of casting your vote during an election and is
available to all registered electors on request. Instead of going to a polling
station the ballot paper is sent direct to the address of your choice. Postal
votes can be sent to an address outside of the UK, but you should bear in
mind the length of time taken for post to be delivered, in either direction.
How do I apply for a postal vote?
If you would like to vote by post, you can contact the elections office who will
post you an application form, a copy of which is attached at Appendix B. A
separate form is required for each person applying for a postal vote.
Once completed and signed, please return your form(s) to the Elections
Office, Salford Civic Centre, Chorley Road, Swinton, Salford, M27 5DA.
Please note it is not possible to process forms electronically because a
signature is required for legal purposes.
Your application must be received by the elections office no later than 11
working days prior to the election date. A ballot paper will be sent to you
approximately 7 to 10 days before polling day.
How long can I have a postal vote for?
It can be for the next election, a fixed period of time, say 6 months or 1 year,
or a maximum of five years. If you choose five years then we will write to you
at the end of that period to allow you to renew your application. If you move
house your postal vote will be cancelled, and you will need to complete a new
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application form. To cancel a postal voting arrangement at any other time, you
will need to write to the Elections Office.
Who to contact
Elections Office
Salford City Council
Salford Civic Centre
Chorley Road
Swinton
Salford
M27 5DA
Telephone: 0161 793 3195
Email: [email protected]
2.
Recommendation
The Committee are requested to note the report.
ALAN WESTWOOD
STRATEGIC DIRECTOR OF CUSTOMER AND SUPPORT SERVICES
Salford Civic Centre,
Chorley Road,
Swinton,
M27 5DA.
14th November, 2007
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