06/01/2023 - Permalink

Voters in England asked to show ID at polling stations from May 2023

Related topics: Democracy / Partner organisations

From 4 May 2023 voters in England will need to show photo ID to vote at polling stations in some elections, including local elections, parliamentary by-elections, Police and Crime Commissioner elections, and recall petitions. From October 2023 it will also apply to UK General elections.

No elections are planned in the Shropshire Council area this year, but from late January anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of ID will be able to apply for free ID – known as a Voter Authority Certificate at www.voter-authority-certificate.service.gov.uk/ or by completing a paper form.

Accepted forms of ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; a UK or EEA driving licence; and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass or an Oyster 60+ card. Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.

The requirement to show photo ID at the polling station is a new requirement, introduced by the UK Government’s Elections Act which was passed last year and comes into effect for the first time this May.

Ailsa Irvine, Director of electoral administration and guidance with the Electoral Commission, said:

“Anyone voting at a polling station in England from May will need to show photo ID before they can be given their ballot paper. It’s important that everyone understands what types of ID they can use, and how to apply for free ID if they need it. You can find information about the new requirement and what to expect at the polling station on the Electoral Commission’s website.”

Andy Begley, Shropshire Council’s chief executive, and returning officer, said:

“Though no elections are planned in the Shropshire Council area this year we wanted to let people in our area know about this change so that they can check if they do have an accepted form of ID, or whether they may need to apply for a free voter authority certificate.

“Of course anyone who wants to have their say at the ballot box must also be registered to vote. It only takes five minutes to register online – at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote – and I encourage people to do so, if they’re not already registered and if they want to vote in a future Shropshire election.”

Find out more about accepted forms of photo ID, how to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate, and what to expect on polling day at electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID.