Introduction of Voter ID
The UK Government has introduced a requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at a polling station at some elections. This new requirement will apply for the first time in England, at the local elections on Thursday 4 May 2023, which includes Harborough district. Electors are being urged to make sure that they are ready to vote at the polling station by checking they have an accepted form of ID. The changes do not affect residents who use a postal vote.
To vote at the polling station, you must be registered to vote (www.gov.uk/register-to-vote) and go to the polling station allocated to you based on your address on the electoral register. You cannot go to any polling station in the area.
Get your photo ID ready
Only certain types of photo ID will be accepted at the polling station. These include:
- A passport*
- A photographic driver’s licence*
- A provisional photographic driver’s licence*
- A biometric immigration document
- A European Economic Area (EAA) photographic ID card
- An identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standard Scheme hologram (PASS card)
- A Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
- A Blue Badge
- An Older Person’s Bus Pass
- A Disabled Person’s Bus Pass
- An Oyster 60+ Card
- A Freedom Pass
*Document must be issued by the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or a Commonwealth Country.
If your accepted ID has expired you can still use it, but it should still be a good likeness to you.
What if I don’t have an accepted photo ID?
If you don’t have a document from the list above, you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate. This is a free form of photo ID that can be used for voting purposes only.
Applications for Voter Authority Certificates can be made online at Apply for photo ID to vote (called a Voter Authority Certificate) at www.gov.uk.
The deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate is 5pm 25 April 2023.
What if I lose or damage my photo ID?
If your photo ID becomes lost, destroyed, damaged beyond use or is stolen prior to polling day, provided the deadlines for other voting methods have not passed, you will be able to apply for a temporary Voter Authority Certificate. This is a free form of photo ID that will be valid for the current and all future elections.
If the deadline to apply for a temporary certificate has passed, you will be able to apply for an emergency proxy up to 5pm on polling day.
If you think you will need to apply for an emergency proxy, please contact Electoral Services directly by:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: 01858 821372
Check where your polling station is
Your polling station might not be the closest one to where you live, or it might have changed since the last time you voted. Your poll card, which you’ll receive through the post a few weeks before polling day, will tell you where you need to go.
Think about how you will get to your polling station
You cannot change your allocated polling station so if it will be difficult for you to get to that location, you will need to consider a postal or a proxy vote. You can find out how to apply for either of these below, but you will need to do this in advance of polling day.
If you find that you cannot get to the polling station at short notice, you may be eligible for an Emergency Proxy Vote. Please contact the Electoral Services Team directly to discuss your circumstances on 01858 821372.
The next scheduled elections are due to take place on 4 May 2023. These are to elect councillors to Harborough District Council and in some areas they are also to elect parish councillors to local parish councils.
Around a month before an election, poll cards are delivered by post to all registered electors.
The poll card contains all the information you need to be able to cast your vote, including where you are registered to vote and where your polling station is. If you have a long-term postal vote, the poll card will tell you where your postal vote will be sent.
Your poll card is sent in advance so that there is plenty of time for you to make changes to your registration or change the way you cast your vote. There is usually a deadline for you to make these changes, so you should read your poll card carefully for this information.
If you’re not sure which way to cast your vote is best for your circumstances, please contact Electoral Services for advice.