Voters will need to show photographic ID to be able to cast their vote in May’s local elections.
In April 2022, the Elections Act 2022 was passed by the UK Parliament. The Act requires voters in Great Britain to show photo ID before being issued a ballot paper in polling stations at UK Parliamentary elections, local council elections and referendums in England and police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales. This also applies to a proxy voter, someone voting in person on someone’s behalf.
Voter ID is designed to prevent the crime of pretending to be someone else when you vote. The Government acknowledges levels of fraud are low but argues that every ballot matters, and that voter ID will protect voters from having their vote stolen.
During the passage of the Elections Bill opposition parties highlighted concerns that requiring photo ID might disenfranchise some voters. Cat Smith (Labour) said, “Concerns have been raised from across the House and from charities and campaigning organisations that disabled people, older people, younger people and people without the spare cash to buy that passport or driving licence are going to be disenfranchised.”
The voter ID provisions will be in place for local elections in May and all UK Parliamentary elections held after that date.
This will affect all voters across Thanet who vote in person or by proxy, at the next local election on Thursday 4 May.
Voters must bring a suitable form of photographic ID to their polling station. The most commonly used forms of ID 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
- Oyster 60+ Card
- A concessionary travel pass funded by HM Government or local authority such as a Kent County Council Bus Pass or Disabled Person’s Bus Pass,
Only original documents will accepted; scanned images or copies will be rejected however expired documents are accepted if the photo is still a current likeness.
Voter Authority Certificate
If you do not have any of the accepted photo ID, and you want to vote at the polling station, you will need to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate. This is a free photographic identification document specific for the purposes of voting.
Postal voters will not be affected and will be issued with their postal ballot papers as usual.