Residents are urged to make sure they don’t lose their vote

The electoral registration officer is writing to 7,000 postal and proxy voters across the East Dunbartonshire Council area asking them to supply a new signature by Friday, September 13.

Postal voters are now required to provide a signature and date of birth when voting by post at an election or referendum.

These are checked against the ones supplied in their application to ensure their vote isn’t being used by someone else.

If the signature and date of birth don’t match the vote is not counted.

As signatures can change over time, the electoral registration officer is required by law to write to all voters whose postal or proxy votes are more than five years old to ask for a new signature.

This year, electoral registration officers are required to write to all absent voters whose signature would be more than five years old by January 31 2015.

If a new sugnature isn’t supplied by Friday, September 13, 2013, then the voter will no longer be able to vote by post or proxy, and will have to vote in person at the polling station, unless they make a new application for a postal/proxy vote.

Voters who have difficulty in providing a consistent signature, perhaps due to ill health or disability, should contact the electoral registration officer for advice.

David Thomson, Electoral Registration Officer for the East Dunbartonshire Council area, said: “This write out for new signatures commences on Friday, August 2.

“It’s an important measure to make sure you don’t lose your vote just because your signature has changed over the years.

“It will also keep your postal or proxy vote safe from fraud.”

For more information contact the Electoral Registration Office on 0800 980 0471.