Voter ID - what you need to do
Following the introduction of voter identification at the local elections in England in May 2023, both the Electoral Commission and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities are conducting evaluations of the implementation of the policy.
In September 2023 the government published the Electoral Integrity Programme Evaluation Plan. This sets out the plan by an external research agency, IFF Research, for a thorough evaluation of the introduction of voter identification. The first evaluation report is expected in November 2023.
As part of this evaluation, research into public attitudes towards and experiences of voting is being carried out through a series of public opinion surveys, the first report from which is now available
A written ministerial statement has been made to update Parliament on these publications.
The Electoral Commission has also released their report which looks at how the May 2023 elections in England were run, how voters and campaigners found taking part, and what lessons can be learned for the future. You can view this report by following this link - Electoralcommission.org.uk - Report May-2023 Local Elections England.
Voter Identification – What you need to do
From May 2023 individuals who wish to vote in person, including those acting as a proxy on behalf of another individual, will be required to produce an accepted form of photographic ID to prove their identity before they will be issued with a ballot paper. This is a national change implemented by the Government as part of the Elections Act 2022 which councils are required to follow when running elections.
To vote in person, voters must be on the electoral register and bring a suitable form of photographic ID to their polling station. The most commonly used IDs include:
- Passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or a Commonwealth country
- Photographic driver’s licence issued by the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (including provisional)
- European Economic Area (EEA) photographic ID Card
- UK Biometric Residence Permit
- An identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (PASS card)
- A Blue Badge
- A concessionary travel pass funded by HM Government or local authority
For more information on which forms of photo ID will be accepted, visit electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID or call their helpline on 0800 328 0280.
Voters who do not produce valid identification or a Voter Authority Certificate (more information below), will not be allowed to vote.
Only original documents will be accepted; scanned images or copies will not be accepted.
Out of date photo ID
You can still use your photo ID if it's out of date, as long as it looks like you.
The name on your ID should be the same name you used to register to vote.
If you do not have one of the accepted forms of ID
If you do not have one of the accepted forms of photo ID, you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate, which can be obtained free of charge. Anyone applying must already be on the electoral register.
The Voter Authority Certificate is a document containing an elector’s name and photograph that can be used as ID to vote in an election. Voter Authority Certificates do not have an expiration date and can be used in future elections so worth keeping hold of if you apply for one.
You can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate online at https://voter-authority-certificate.service.gov.uk/
If you can’t complete the online application form you can request a paper form instead or apply in person at the West Oxfordshire District Council offices. For more information please call us on 01993 861410 or email [email protected].
You can find out more about Voter Authority Certificates here: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/voter-id/applying-a-voter-authority-certificate
Does this affect postal and proxy voting?
From 31 October 2023 new postal vote applications can be made online and will be required to go through a verification check by supplying National Insurance number, date of birth and a signature.
If you wish to vote by post in future elections you can apply online by visiting www.gov.uk/apply-postal-vote or by downloading a vote by post application form here. Please note in the run up to an election the deadline for postal vote applications is 11 days before the date of the poll.
If you choose to vote by proxy then the person who you have appointed to vote on your behalf will have to take their own valid identification to be issued with a ballot paper. Application to vote by proxy can be made online by visiting www.gov.uk/apply-proxy-vote. Please note in the run up to an election the deadline for proxy vote applications is 6 days before the date of the poll.