Is this ‘signature check’ an attempt to cut the number of disabled people who can vote?

What do Vox Political readers think of this comment received on This Site’s Facebook page?

“We had a letter from the council this week for my wife to re-register for postal voting, with the reason being they need to confirm her signature regularly.

“Can we say something about this?

“We think they are trying to reduce the amount of disabled people allowed to vote. They are saying your signature may change over time.”

Has anyone else received this kind of contact from their council? If so, what happened and what is your impression?

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  1. hugosmum70 February 4, 2019 at 2:19 am - Reply

    yes i had similar letter last week. thought nothing of it as it makes sense to check you are still living at same address, your signature does change as you age, known fact, plus they need to know that you are still alive even. after all they do this every year for electoral roll. just shows how this govt is making people question every little thing they probably never questioned before . this govt’s duplicity, lies and daily underhand dealings are making people very suspicious of everything now.

  2. Prickly February 4, 2019 at 3:36 am - Reply

    This is just my suggestion on what could be happening, and there may be nothing sinister in what the Council are doing. (I know, we have all learned not to trust them, and with good reason.) Private pension providers check that the people they are paying out a pension to are still alive. They try to be subtle by not writing to ask ‘Are you still alive?’ They ask things like ‘We are just checking you are still at the same address. Please sign the attached form and return it to us.

    With postal voting you never get to be seen at the polling station, so this may be a way of checking the person is still alive and therefore still eligible to vote, and that someone else is not using their vote.

    Personally, I don’t trust my local council, but if I had received that type of correspondence I would have thought there was nothing dodgy about this, and that they are just performing the necessary checks.

  3. Jeffrey Davies February 4, 2019 at 3:55 am - Reply

    Eve. The banks are at it using the same reason hmmm do they need my monies that much

  4. Robbie February 4, 2019 at 8:00 am - Reply

    I have lived overseas for the past fourteen years and remain on the electoral register. I have a postal vote and have to reregister annually, thereby providing a signature. I am not disabled but it helps to prevent possible fraud.

  5. Kelly-anne Wynd February 4, 2019 at 8:17 am - Reply

    People’s signatures can change over time. Due to illness or infirmity or old age. However, I don’t see why people need to reregister to postal vote unless the council are checking the signature against one already held on file, to confirm it’s not a fraudulent vote. e.g. Bank’s checking the signature on a cheque matches the one they hold on file. And I’m sure that councils don’t hold people’s signatures on file to do this. Because if they do, when did they gain that consent off of postal voters? That will be their next justification, upon being challenged, that it’s to stop fraud.

  6. Simonsky February 4, 2019 at 8:24 am - Reply

    I’ve read reports that police are informing the DWP about disable protesters taking part in demonstrations-John McDonnell raised the issue that this impedes disabled people taking part in civic life.

    Covered here:

    Is this another attempt to disenfranchise the disabled?

    • Mike Sivier February 4, 2019 at 1:12 pm - Reply

      Yes, I’ve covered this on This Site too.

  7. Readerbythesea February 4, 2019 at 9:12 am - Reply

    My bank did that with me a couple of years ago, my signature had actually evolved!

  8. whispywoo February 4, 2019 at 9:14 am - Reply

    My husband and I received these letters and forms, from Wiltshire Council. This is purely a confirmation of our intention to continue with postal voting and to confirm our signatures and dates of birth. My signature has definitely changed due to arthritis, it is different every time! No, nothing suspicious about this.

  9. jaynel62 February 4, 2019 at 9:33 am - Reply

    As a long time postal voter, this is a regular practice for both Authorities I have lived in during this time

  10. Pauline Brocklehurst February 4, 2019 at 10:05 am - Reply

    Yes – one came yesterday for my 94 year old mother – but not for us. We all applied for postal votes at the same time. I thought it was a bit odd!

  11. Gerry Conroy February 4, 2019 at 10:33 am - Reply

    Hi Mike, my 94 year old father who has Alzheimers got one of those letters last week, luckily I saw it (he often loses his post and we don’t find it until much later) I got him to sign it and returned it immediately, Unfortunately he often votes lib-dem but hey ho at least in our area it is a voye against the tories !!

  12. MARK BEVIS February 4, 2019 at 10:53 am - Reply

    If it is only disabled people they are “targetting” then that would fall foul of disability discrimination legislation I would have thought.
    I’m not on twitter or FB so someone might want to pass that thought on.
    I would also challenge that council to provide medical evidence that signatures ‘change over time’ for disabled people.

  13. WheelyBad February 4, 2019 at 11:43 am - Reply

    yup, I’ve had these over the years. this is to stop fraud, to stop people using the votes of those who’ve become too sick to know what’s going on. if her signature has changed hugely or she cannot provide one phone the local electoral register office within your council (number should be on the letter) and ask them what to do. my signature has never changed hugely so I just re sign and return it.

  14. belfastfreethinker February 4, 2019 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    looks like American style voter suppression

  15. LeonC1963 February 4, 2019 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Everyone’s Signature changes over time in fact no two signatures can ever be the same

  16. bygc61 February 4, 2019 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    I have had them before usually in the preamble to an election which is why I was chuckling filling it in. If you believe it will lessen the disability vote check the next election with the one before or tell your volunteers who witness the postal votes to ask questions of the registrar. IF they think the signature is wrong they must contact the person prior to the election envelopes going out

  17. Carol Fraser February 5, 2019 at 11:27 am - Reply

    Probably nothing sinister. We have to sign a I’m not dead letter and get it notorised by a professional. My chemist thinks it’s funny! There has been fraud in this area and they need to check.

  18. Marysia Kurowski February 11, 2019 at 5:21 am - Reply

    Yep, I got one for the very first time, despite having a postal vote for about 30 years, and was a wee bit concerned. My sig is somewhat variable owing to my not being totally in control of my hands and fingers, but nevertheless it is distinctive. If I get any come-back from this I’ll let you know.

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