Important changes to postal vote arrangements

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent election takes place on Thursday 2 May, and postal votes have now started being sent out.

This election brings with it an important change in the rules around the handing in of postal votes.

While we expect most people with a postal vote will continue to send it in via a Royal Mail post box – the process for which is unchanged – some drop them off direct to us at the council offices.

And this is where the change comes in.

Anyone bringing in a postal vote will now have to complete a postal vote return form. If they do not do this, the postal vote will be rejected.

The form will also need to be countersigned, so it cannot just be completed and left. A member of our elections team will need to go through it with the individual bringing it in.

There is also now a maximum number of postal votes that can be handed in, which is five plus your own.

And political campaigners are no longer allowed to hand in postal votes unless they all belong to close relatives or people they provide regular care to.

To help the public through these changes, our reception at Military Road is open every weekday between 9am and 5pm until election day. Staff will be on hand and postal vote return forms will be available.

A notice will go on our letterbox explaining that any postal vote posted through it will be rejected.

The exact same rules for completing a postal vote return form also apply to anyone who returns a postal vote at a polling station on election day.

Finally, a quick reminder that the voter ID deadline is this Wednesday (24 April) at 5pm. With reception open as outlined above, we will be able to help people with their Voter Authority Certificate (VAC), including taking photos.

People only need to apply for a VAC if they don’t have an acceptable form of photo ID already. It is also possible to apply for a free VAC online. They can check what ID is acceptable and then apply online if they need to.

More information is available on the national government website.

And the same deadline as for the VAC above applies for proxy vote applications too.

Published: 22 April 2024

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