For the first time, residents in Cheshire East will need to show photographic ID to vote at this year’s local elections.
Residents are being urged to make sure they are ready to vote in May by checking they have an accepted form of ID.
Accepted forms of ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; a UK, EEA or Commonwealth drivers’ 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.
Anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of ID will be able to apply for free ID online via the gov.uk website or by completing a paper form.
The full list of accepted ID is available on the Electoral Commission’s website, along with more information about the new requirement and details of how to apply for the free ID, at electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID.
Ailsa Irvine, director of electoral administration and guidance at the Electoral Commission, said: “Anyone voting at a polling station in England this 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.”
Dr Lorraine O’Donnell, Returning Officer at Cheshire East Council and its chief executive, said: “With elections taking place in Cheshire East on 4 May 2023, it is important that those who want to vote make sure they have an accepted form of ID. It may seem early but checking now means you will be ready to vote in May.
“Residents who do not have one of the accepted forms of ID can apply for free ID either online or by completing a paper application form and sending this to Cheshire East Council’s electoral services team. If you need any help with applying for the free ID or want to request an application form, contact the electoral services team on 0300 123 5016 or email firstname.lastname@example.org”
Anyone who wants to have their say in the elections this May must also be registered to vote. It only takes five minutes to register online at gov.uk/register-to-vote. Voters wishing to apply to their council for free ID should first make sure they are registered to vote.
Eligible voters can, alternatively, vote by post. It’s easy to apply and you can find out how by visiting the Electoral Commission website.
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.