APPROVED FORMS OF PHOTO ID NOW REQUIRED TO VOTE
What is the Issue?
New Government rules have been brought in which will stop anyone voting who does not have an Approved Form of Photo ID. If you don’t want to have your vote taken away from you, you need to take action now.
From the May 2023 elections voters will be required to show an approved form of photo ID to be allowed to vote. No longer will residents be allowed to vote just by showing their polling card. You will need either to make sure that you have an approved form of photo ID with you when you vote (see below for the approved forms of ID), or take action now to preserve your right to vote.
The list of Approved Photo ID is limited and is geared towards making voting easier for older people than younger people, as, for example, young persons travelcards and students’ ID is not accepted even though they have photos. An 18+ Oyster Card is not valid but a 60+ Oyster Card is!
The new rules are widely believed to have been introduced primarily to make it difficult for certain people to vote, particularly to make it difficult for young people and those without common forms of identification such as driving licences or passports. The Government claims that the new rules are meant to prevent fraud, but in reality there are almost no cases of in person voter fraud in the UK, and no evidence that any cases have actually swung an election. Between 2015 and 2019, there were 3 general elections, 159 million votes cast and only 88 allegations of voter impersonation with 3 convictions!
What should you do?
Once you are registered to vote, there are 3 ways to preserve your right to vote:
1. Apply for a Postal Vote instead
Voting by post is free and easy. If you have registered for a postal vote already, you don’t need to possess any photo ID. You can apply for your postal vote at Uttlesford District Council. It is an easy form to complete but you need to return it to Uttlesford District Council by post or in person, so do it well before an election. If you can’t vote in person, you can apply for someone else to vote for you via a Proxy Vote, but they will require registration in advance and ID too, so it is easier just to apply for your own postal vote.
2. Or check your Photo ID is valid to vote in person
Is your Photo ID valid? You can vote with a current passport, driving licence, identity card, blue badge and a number of other forms of ID – but you must remember to take your Photo ID to the polling station. This list of forms of Photo ID seems a little contradictory in places, so read the full list of valid Photo ID that you can vote with on the UDC website.
3. Or apply for a Voter Authority Certificate to vote in person
If you don’t have a valid Photo ID and don’t want to vote by post, you can apply for what is called a Voter Authority Certificate. To apply, you need both your National Insurance number and a recent photo of yourself. Find out more and apply on the UDC website.
Maximise your vote
Once you’ve worked out how to vote, read our voting guide to find out how to maximise your support for your Residents’ candidates.