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Update your details for 2018 (Postal vote refresh)

It is that time of year where the Elections Office undertakes the annual Postal Vote Refresh, where existing postal voters are asked to update their details in order to carry on voting by post.

We are required by law to write to all postal voters who have had their postal votes for more than 5 years, in order to make sure that we hold the most up to date signature on our records.

This is because when you complete your postal vote, you are required to provide a date of birth and signature on a postal vote statement. These are compared against the date of birth and signature provided on your original application form. If they match, then your postal vote will be accepted, and your ballot paper included in the count, if they don’t match, then your postal vote will be rejected.

It is recognised that people’s signatures change over time, and therefore legislation was introduced to allow for signatures to be refreshed every 5 years. If you have had your postal vote since at least January 2013, and have not in the intervening years, resupplied your signature, then we will have written to you. If you have had your postal vote since at least 2012, it may be that this is the second time you have been asked to refresh your signature with the Elections Office.

If you have not yet had your postal vote for 5 years, or if you have already resupplied your signature (either during a previous refresh exercise or by independently completing another application to vote by post), then you will not be included in this years’ refresh exercise. Instead you will receive the refresh paperwork in a future year, once the most recent application we hold is more than 5 years old.

If you have applied for a waiver, meaning that you do not need to provide your signature when completing your postal vote, then you are automatically excluded from this exercise.

If you wish to carry on voting by post, then you should complete the form which was recently sent out to you. You only need to provide your signature, but it is helpful to us if you complete the Date of Birth as well.

If you wish to change any of your details, for example where the postal vote is sent to, or if you wish to cancel your postal vote, then you can do this by either returning the form to us, or by emailing absentvotes@birmingham.gov.uk with more details.

If you are no longer able to sign, or to provide a consistent signature, then you can apply for a waiver, meaning that you will only need to provide your date of birth on future postal vote statements. You can apply for one of these by contacting the office using the email address above, or by ringing the helpline number supplied on the form.

Anyone who does not respond to the initial form will receive a reminder in mid-February, however the deadline to respond to this Refresh exercise is 9 March 2018.

If you do not return the form to us, then your postal vote will be cancelled, and therefore you will no longer be able to vote by post. If, after your postal vote has been cancelled you wish to vote by post in future, you will need to make a fresh application. The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm, 11 working days prior to an election.