Malvern Hills residents will need photo ID to vote at elections in May
Malvern Hills District residents will for the first time need to show photo ID to vote at this year's local elections.
Residents are being urged to check they have an accepted form of photo ID ahead of polling day on Thursday, 4 May 2023 to make sure they can cast their vote.
There are many accepted forms of ID including a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport, a driving licence issued by the UK, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or an EEA state, as well as a blue badge or an older person's bus pass. The full list of accepted photo ID can be found on the Electoral Commission website at www.electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID.
Voters will be able to use out of date ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.
There are a number of IDs that won't be accepted, these include photo ID cards issued by a workplace (including the NHS and local councils) and student cards without a PASS hologram.
Anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of ID can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate. These can be applied for by following the links at www.malvernhills.gov.uk/voting-and-elections. The deadline to apply for the Malvern Hills District Council (MHDC) election is 5pm on 25 April 2023, but residents are being urged to apply early if they need to.
People will need to be registered to vote first before they apply. This can be done online following the links on MHDC's elections page.
The requirement to show photo ID at a polling station was introduced by the UK Government's Elections Act, which was passed last year and comes into effect for the first time this May.
Andy Baldwin, Returning Officer for Malvern Hills District Council, said: "Residents will be electing a whole new Council in May as well as representatives on town and parish councils across the district.
"Although it may seem a long way away, I urge people to check now they have the required form of photo ID to make sure they can vote in May. If you haven't, then please apply for a Voter Authority Certificate early to make sure you don't miss out on making your voice heard through the ballot box.
"If you need help understanding the new requirement for photo ID or applying for a Voter Authority Certificate then please contact our elections team."
This year's Malvern Hills District Council election will be the first held under new ward boundaries, which means the name of the electoral ward people live in or where they usually go to vote may change.
Poll cards will be issued towards the end of March. Residents are urged to check them for the location of their polling station and more information on the photo ID requirement.
1.Elections for Malvern Hills District Council, town and parish councils in the district are taking place on Thursday, 4 May 2023.
2.The requirement to show photo ID at the polling station, is a new requirement, introduced by the UK Government's Elections Act which was passed last year.
3.The legislation requires voters at polling stations to show an accepted form of photo ID before they receive their ballot paper. From May, voters will need to show photo ID before voting in local council elections in England, parliamentary by-elections, and police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales. From October 2023, photo ID will be needed at UK parliamentary general elections. It will not be a requirement at local elections in Scotland or Wales, or elections to Scottish Parliament or Senedd. The requirement already exists in Northern Ireland.
4.Applications for the free ID available, called the Voter Authority Certificate, opened in January 2023.
5.To apply for the Voter Authority Certificate, voters will need to provide a photo, full name, date of birth, the address at which they are registered to vote and their National Insurance number.
6.The UK Government's Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities is responsible for the new voter ID policy and for the free voter ID application system. Enquiries relating to the application system or the policy itself should be directed to the Department.
7.The Electoral Commission is responsible for ensuring voters are aware of the new voter ID requirement, and for supporting local authorities with the process. Questions related to the public awareness campaign should be directed to the Electoral Commission.
8.Local authorities are responsible for implementing voter ID at the local level.
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