20/05/2024 - Permalink

Reminder about photo ID and registering to vote ahead of general election

Related topics: Democracy

With a general election expected to be held later this year, potential voters in Shropshire are being reminded of the need to register to vote, and to have a valid form of photo ID if they’re planning to vote at a polling station.

Anyone not already registered to vote can do so at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote – and is encouraged to register now rather than leave it until a date for the general election is announced.

Valid forms of photo ID can be seen on the Electoral Commission website.

Anyone who doesn’t have one of these can instead apply for a free voter authority certificate (VAC) online. Again, people are advised to apply for a VAC now, rather than leaving it till the last minute.

Meanwhile, latest figures for voting in the Shropshire Council area at the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner election on 2 May 2024 show that 0.5% of people visiting a polling station (122 in total) were unable to vote due to not having a valid form of photo ID. Initially 318 (1.2%) were refused a ballot paper, but 196 (61.6%) of these returned later with accepted ID and were able to vote.

In total 25,589 people voted at a polling station on the day.

Andy Begley, local Shropshire returning officer, said:

“Anyone voting at a polling station at the next general election, for the local elections in May 2025, and for any future by-elections must have an accepted form of photo ID – and it’s important that everyone understands what types of ID they can use, and how to apply for free ID if they need it.

“These figures show that only a small number of people were turned away from a polling station, or didn’t vote, on 2 May due to not having an accepted form of ID. But ideally we want everyone who visits a polling station on election day to be able to cast their vote, which is why we’re reminding people about the need for photo ID, and encouraging them to check if they have valid ID ahead of the general election – and to apply for a free voter authority certificate if not.

“It’s also important that people register to vote, if they aren’t already, and we encourage people to register sooner rather than later.”

The figures for the Shropshire Council area for the West Mercia PCC election are:

  • The total number of electors who were eligible to vote in person at the polling stations – 214,286
  • The total number of voters issued with a ballot paper at polling stations – 25,589
  • The percentage of electors eligible to vote in person at the polling stations who voted – 11.9%
  • % attended the polling station and were able to vote on 2 May – 99.5% (25,467)
  • % who applied for but were refused a ballot paper by the close of poll  – 0.5% (122)
  • % who applied for, but were initially refused, a ballot paper – 1.2% (318)
  • Of the electors initially refused a ballot paper, % who later returned with accepted ID and were issued with a ballot paper – 61.6% (196)

To apply for a Voter Authority Certificate, voters will need to provide a good quality photo, full name, date of birth, the address at which they are registered to vote and their National Insurance number