Walsall residents reminded to check their photo ID ahead of local election in May
As the deadline to get a free Voter Authority Certificate in time for this election fast approaches, Walsall Council is reminding residents without suitable photo ID to ensure they apply before 5pm on Tuesday 25 April.
For the first time, voters in the local election on Thursday 4 May 2023 will need to show photographic ID when voting at a polling station due to new requirements implemented by the Government. Walsall Council is urging residents to make sure they are ready to vote by checking they have an accepted form of ID.
Accepted forms of ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; a UK, EEA or Commonwealth drivers’ licence; and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass or an Oyster 60+ card. Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.
Anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of ID can apply for the free Voter Authority Certificate online at voter-authority-certificate.service.gov.uk/. Walsall residents who need support with accessing digital services can go to one of the Walsall libraries or registered Community Hubs for digital support through the Walsall Connected programme. Alternatively, residents can contact the Electoral Services team to discuss their requirements.
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 for the Voter Authority Certificate, at electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID.
Only people registered to vote will be able to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate. It only takes five minutes to register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
“ With local elections taking place in Walsall on Thursday 4 May 2023, residents need to make sure that they have suitable photo ID if they wish to vote at a polling station. The deadline for applications for the Voter Authority Certificate is fast approaching so we want to urge people to make sure they apply in plenty of time.
The Voter Authority Certificate is free, residents can apply either online or by completing a paper application form, available on request from Walsall Council electoral services team. If you need any help with applying for the free ID or want to request an application form, contact the electoral services team on 01922 652502 or email ElectionOffice@walsall.gov.uk
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 and comes into effect for the first time this May.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact the Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0704, out of office hours 07789 920 414 or email@example.com
Notes to editors
- Local elections are taking place in Walsall on Thursday 4 May 2023.
- 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.
- 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.
- Applications for the free ID available, called the Voter Authority Certificate, are expected opened middle of January 2023.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Local authorities are responsible for implementing voter ID at the local level.
- Information on the Walsall Connected programme offering support to residents who aren’t able to access digital services independently, including a full list of libraries and community hubs, is available here: Walsall Connected - get help to get online | Walsall Council
- The Voter Authority Certificate will not be an acceptable form of ID for anything other than voting in an election.
- Walsall Council’s Statement of Persons Nominated for the 2023 Local Election can be found here https://go.walsall.gov.uk/your-council/voting-and-elections/upcoming-elections-and-legal-notices