For the first time, residents of Wokingham Borough will need to show photographic ID to vote at this year’s local elections.
Anyone who wishes to vote is therefore being urged to make sure they are ready when May arrives by checking they have an accepted form of ID. There are many forms of ID that are acceptable and anyone who does not have one can apply for free online or complete a paper form and send it to Wokingham Borough Council’s electoral services team.
Accepted forms of photo ID include:
- Driving licence/provisional licence
- Blue badge
- Certain concessionary travel cards, such as an older person’s bus pass or an Oyster 60+ card
- Identity card with Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) mark
- Biometric Immigration document
- Defence identity card
- Certain national identity cards
It is expected that the website to apply for a free voter ID document, which is known as a Voter Authority Certificate, will be ready for applications from Monday 16 January.
If a voter turns up at a polling station with no accepted photo identification, they will not be issued with a ballot paper. The provision of a polling card alone will not entitle you to vote.
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 on Thursday 4 May. If you already have suitable ID, it is vital that you remember to bring it on the day.
Voters will be able to use expired ID as long as they are still recognisable from the photo. A full list of accepted forms of ID is available on the Electoral Commission’s website, along with more information about the new requirement and how to apply for free ID.
Andrew Moulton, returning officer at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “With elections taking place in Wokingham Borough on 4 May, 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 the council’s electoral services team. Contact us if you need any help with applying.”
Register to vote
Anyone who wants to have their say at the local elections must also be registered to vote. It only takes fives minutes to register online and anyone wishing to apply for free voter ID should make sure they are registered to vote.
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, their proxy will still need to show their photo ID. The deadline to apply for a postal vote for the May elections is Tuesday 18 April and for a proxy vote is Tuesday 25 April.
Residents with questions can contact the council’s electoral services team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (0118) 974 6000.