Taken from Wokingham Borough Council News Centre.
Residents are being reminded about the need to bring suitable photo ID when they head to the polls on Thursday 4 May.
Many residents will already have acceptable forms of ID, but if it is not presented on the day then they will not be issued with a ballot paper and will not be able to vote. Bringing a poll card by itself will not entitle you to vote.
If you do not have ID, you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate (VAC) for free. Before applying, see the full list of accepted ID on the Electoral Commission’s website, where you can also find out more about how to apply for a VAC if you need to.
If you want to have your say at the local elections, you must also be registered to vote. It only takes five minutes to register online and anyone wishing to apply for the free voter ID should make sure they are registered to vote before 11.59pm on Monday 17 April.
The deadline to apply for a VAC is six working days before polling day, which is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April.
You must show photo ID in order to vote at the local elections on Thursday 4 May 🗳️
If you do not have suitable ID, you can apply for a free voter authority certificate by 5pm on Tuesday 25 April ✅
— Wokingham Borough Council (@WokinghamBC) April 11, 2023
Andrew Moulton, returning officer for Wokingham Borough Council, said: “The last thing we want is for anyone to turn up to the polling station without ID. That is why we are reminding residents about the new legislation and encouraging them to be prepared so that they can have their say on the issues that matter most to them.”
Voter ID is a new requirement introduced by the Government’s Elections Act, which was passed last year and will apply for the first time in England at the local elections next month. It will also apply to:
- Police and Crime Commissioner elections
- UK parliamentary by-elections
- Recall petitions
- UK General Election (from October 2023)
There are many forms of photo ID that are acceptable, but anyone who does not have one can apply for a VAC for free. This can be done online or by completing a paper form and sending it to the council’s electoral services team.
Accepted forms of ID include a passport, full or provisional driving licence and certain concessionary travel cards, such as an older person’s bus pass or an Oyster 60+ card. Expired ID will also be accepted as long as the photograph on the document still resembles a likeness to the elector.
If a voter would prefer not to show ID at a polling station, they can apply to vote by post or proxy, which removes the need for photo ID. However, the proxy would still need to show their ID.
The deadline to apply for a postal vote for the elections, or to change existing postal or proxy arrangements, is 5pm on Tuesday 18 April. New applications for proxy votes must be made by 5pm on Tuesday 25 April.
The council is committed to ensuring all residents who are eligible to vote can register safely. Anyone whose safety would be at risk if their name or address were listed on the electoral register can register to vote anonymously by downloading and completing an application form on the Electoral Commission’s website.
Residents registered to vote anonymously, or who plan to register anonymously, will need to apply for an anonymous elector’s document (AED). Applications need to be submitted by 5pm on Tuesday 25 April and the document must be brought to the polling station along with their anonymous elector poll card.
You can email the council’s electoral services team or call (0118) 974 6000 to request a paper copy of the VAC or AED application form. The team will also be able to help with any questions you may have and can help you to complete the form.