Apply for a postal vote trial - participant information and consent form

Closes 20 Aug 2023

Opened 25 May 2023



  1. What is The Department for Levelling Up (DLUHC)?  

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) is the UK Government department that supports communities across the UK to thrive, making them great places to live and work. DLUHC is responsible for Government policy on elections.  

As part of the implementation of the Elections Act, DLUHC is working with Electoral Registration Officers to deliver the “Apply for a postal vote” service to ensure electors can apply online in addition to using the existing paper-based application process. 


  1. What is the trial of the new digital service about? 

The live trial is to test out the effectiveness of the new service and identify any improvements that should be made to it to help voters and Electoral Registration Officers before the service is launched nationally. 


  1. Type of research  

The live trial will enable us to test the new service in realistic conditions. This research will focus on how well the new service works for voters and Electoral Registration Officers. It will involve trial participants making simulated applications to vote by post or proxy, and local Electoral Registration Officers processing the applications. 

We will collect cookies stored on your device during the application exercise. You can view the cookie policy at:


  1. Participation is voluntary  

Participation in the live trial research is voluntary. You can withdraw your participation and the use of your personal data at any point by contacting your local Electoral Registration Officer at:


  1. Benefits of participating  

Findings from the research will be used to improve the service. To say thank you, you will receive a £10 Giftpay voucher for taking part. If you are randomly selected to take part in a subsequent stage of the trial you may receive a second Giftpay voucher. 


  1. Collection and storage of research data 

Data collected via cookies and the follow-up survey will be stored on a secure cloud platform accessible only by the research teams from DLUHC and its digital development partner Softwire for review and analysis. Extracted data that we analyse for the trial will be anonymised so individuals cannot be identified. Following the completion of the project, any personal data you have provided will be deleted. The anonymised research data will be stored indefinitely. 


  1. Collection and storage of submitted data 

As part of the beta trial, you may be asked to provide copies or details of: 

  • The address where you are registered to vote 

  • Your National Insurance Number 

  • A copy of your signature 

In certain circumstances, we may ask for copies, scans or photos of some of the following: 

  • Passport 

  • Biometric immigration document 

  • EEA identity card 

  • Northern Ireland Electoral Identity Card 

  • Birth certificate 

  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate 

  • Adoption certificate 

  • Firearms licence (granted under the Firearms Act 1968) 

  • Driving licence (paper licence or photocard) 

  • Police bail sheet 

  • Bank or building society statement, or account confirmation letter 

  • Utility bill 

  • Credit card statement 

  • Benefits (or benefits entitlement) statement 

  • Mortgage statement 

  • P45 or P60 issued by employer/former employer 

  • Pensions statement 

  • Council tax demand letter or statement 

For the purposes of processing your application, your local Electoral Services Team will process your details to determine a simulated result. This will involve:  

  • Checking that you are registered to vote in the local area they administer.  

  • Checking the National Insurance Number you have provided to see if it matches a record on the Department for Work and Pensions’ National Insurance database.   

  • If you were not able to provide a National Insurance Number or it did not produce a match to any records they could find, they will instead verify your identity by requesting and reviewing some of the documents listed above.  

  • Checking the photo you have submitted to see if it meets requirements.   

  • Contacting you by email, phone or letter if they need additional information or documents from you, or need to request a different photo. 

We will only keep your personal data up to the point the project is completed or end of October 2023, whichever is earlier, at which point all data and documents provided by you will be deleted by the Electoral Services Team. No data will be retained by them, DLUHC or partner organisations.  


  1. Sharing research extracts 

The anonymised data will be accessed by staff from DLUHC and Softwire, so they can learn from the results of the research in order to improve the service. 


  1. Legal Disclosure 

DLUHC and Softwire may release some or all of the research data if required for law enforcement purposes by any competent authority. 


  1. Processing of personal data 

You can read the full Privacy Notices at: 

Complete the consent form