Section 21 Absent vote applications : provision of personal identifiers
43.Section 21 introduces new provisions for the collection of personal identifiers (signature and date of birth) at the point of application for absent voting (both postal voting and voting by proxy) at local government elections in Scotland. Subsection (3) provides that an application for an absent vote must include these details and subsection (4) requires registration officers not to grant an application if they are not supplied.
44.Subsection (5) allows registration officers discretion to dispense with the need for a signature if they are satisfied that the applicant cannot provide a signature or sign in a consistent and distinctive way because of illiteracy or disability. Subsection (6) requires a record to be kept of those persons granted an application for an absent vote and that this record should show their dates of birth and signatures unless the registration officer has dispensed with the need for a signature under subsection (5). Subsection (7) gives Scottish Ministers powers to make regulations setting out the period of time for which this record must be kept.