Did you know ……. Photo Identification needed at Polling Stations

Did you know ……. Photo Identification will be need at Polling Stations

With the new Elections Act gaining approval, significant changes will affect everyone involved at all levels of elections and referendums across England.

Some of the key changes will

  • Require voters to show photo ID at polling stations (currently planned from May 2023).
  • Require Electoral Registration Officers to issue free voter identification documents to eligible residents without valid photo ID (process scheduled to commence from December 2022). 
  • Enable electors to apply online for an absent vote, with both online and paper applications requiring the applicant’s identity to be verified (expected from July 2023).

During 2023 a national advertising campaign will be launched to remind voters to take photo ID when voting at a polling station.

What is voter identification and what will voters need to know?

Voter identification will require voters to prove their identity by showing a form of photographic identification, before being given their ballot paper in a polling station across Great Britain at national UK-wide elections, and at local elections in England.

A broad range of documents, both in date and expired, will be accepted in order to prove your identity to vote.

These include:

  • Various concessionary travel passes
  • PASS cards
  • Ministry of Defence identity cards
  • Photocard parking permits issued as part of the Blue Badge scheme
  • Driver’s licenses
  • Passports
  • Free Voter Cards, provided by local authorities

What if I don’t have any of those documents?

Everyone eligible to vote will continue to be able to do so. Legislation will also make clear that local authorities must provide a Voter Card free of charge where an elector does not have one of the approved forms of photo identification

What if identification is out of date?

This does not matter - expired forms of identification will be accepted as long as the photograph is a good enough likeness to allow polling station staff to confirm the identity of the holder.

Further information is available on the www.gov.uk website

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