A TOTAL of 1,358 Redditch borough postal voters still need to refresh their old sample signatures if they want to continue to vote by post in upcoming elections.

As sample signatures held securely by polling authorities for use in postal voting identity checks are required to be no more than five years old, signatures captured in Redditch in 2007-8 have now run out of shelf life. If they are not renewed, existing postal vote arrangements for those voters will have to be cancelled.

As of January 24, over 70 per cent of the 5,000 affected registered postal voters in the borough had already responded to the most recent round of signature refresher forms sent out from January 4, with a deadline for return of 14 February.

Now Redditch Council is urging recipients to complete and return their forms as soon as possible to avoid extra costs of each obligatory reminder notice that has to be sent for unreturned forms.

Electoral Services manager Sue Mould said: “There has been a good response so far and thanks to everyone who has responded, who will now be able to continue voting by post.

“We are now asking anyone yet to return the renewal notice to complete and return the forms as soon as possible. Please help to save resources by responding before we are obliged to send out reminders.”

Anyone who does not want to refresh their signature must still return the form but can simply indicate on the form that they no longer wish to vote by post.

The Worcestershire County Council elections to be held on Thursday, May 2 are expected to see eight seats in the Redditch area contested.

People who know they will be away on that election day can apply for a postal vote by calling 01527 881421 or emailing elections@bromsgroveandredditch.gov.uk.