The Royal Borough is urging residents to ensure they’re ready to vote in the Local Elections by checking if they have an accepted form of photo ID – and applying now for a free voter ID document if they do not.
On Thursday 4 May, all-out elections will take place for the Borough council and all 14 parish councils within the Royal Borough, along with a referendum in the Datchet parish about the proposed Datchet Neighbourhood Plan.
Due to a national legal change, for the first time you will need to show photo ID in order to vote at a polling station. You will be able to use expired ID if you are still recognisable from the photo.
Accepted forms of photo ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; a UK or EEA driver’s licence; and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass or an Oyster 60+ card.
If you don’t already have an accepted form of photo ID, you can apply by Tuesday 25 April for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate. Visit www.electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID or call 0800 328 0280 to find out more and apply. 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.
You will not need to show photo ID in order to vote by post or proxy, although your proxy will need to show their photo ID at the polling station. The deadline for receiving new postal vote and postal proxy applications is 5pm on Tuesday 18 April. The deadline for receiving new applications to vote by proxy (not postal proxy or emergency proxies) is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April.
Kirsty Hunt, service lead for electoral and democratic services, said: “It’s important those who want to vote at a polling station make sure they have an accepted form of ID, or otherwise apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate before 25 April. It may seem early but checking now means you will be ready to vote in May, don’t put it off.
“Anyone voting at a polling station in England this May will need to show photo ID before you can be given your ballot paper. This is a national legal change and there’s a national awareness campaign. Locally, we’re supporting the awareness-raising efforts, working hard to ensure as many people as possible understand what types of ID they can use, and how to apply for free voter ID, if they need it.”
Anyone who wants to vote must also be on the local electoral register. The last date for registering to vote for these elections is Monday 17 April at 11.59pm. Registering to vote is easiest online via www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
Further voter information and application forms to vote by post or proxy are available at https://www.gov.uk/how-to-vote Paper copies of application forms can also be requested by contacting the local Elections Helpline via 01628 683868 or firstname.lastname@example.org For more information about eligibility to vote, visit www.electoralcommission.org.uk