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Chelmsford residents need photo ID to vote at elections in May

Photo ID Reminder 02

For the first time, residents in Chelmsford will need to show photographic ID to vote at this year’s local elections. Residents are urged to ensure they are ready to vote in May by checking they have an accepted form of photo ID.

Accepted forms of photo ID for voting

Some of the photographic identification that is accepted includes:

  • a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport
  • a UK or EEA drivers’ licence
  • 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.

If you haven’t got photo ID…

Anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of ID will be able to apply for free ID online at voter-authority-certificate.service.gov.uk or by completing a paper form. Voters needing an ID certificate will need to apply for it by Tuesday 25 April.

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 free ID, at electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID.

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance, said:

"Anyone voting at a polling station in England this May will need to show photo ID before they can be given their ballot paper. It’s important that everyone understands what types of ID they can use, and how to apply for free ID if they need it. You can find information about the new requirement and what to expect at the polling station on the Electoral Commission’s website."

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance

Nick Eveleigh, Returning Officer at Chelmsford City Council, and also the Chief Executive Officer, agrees how important it is that voters familiarise themselves with the new requirements before heading to the polling station:

"With elections taking place in Chelmsford on 4 May 2023, it is important that those who want to vote make sure they have an accepted form of photo ID. It may seem early but checking now means you will be ready to vote in May.

“Residents who do not have one of the accepted forms of photo ID can apply for free ID either online or by completing a paper application form and sending this to Chelmsford City Council’s 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 customer service team on 01245 606 449."

Nick Eveleigh, Returning Officer and Chief Executive Officer at Chelmsford City Council

Anyone who wants to have their say in the elections this May must also be registered to vote. It only takes five minutes to register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. Voters who wish to apply to their council for free ID should first make sure they are registered to vote.

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. 

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Charlotte Maltby
Charlotte Maltby

Charlotte writes about the environment, parks, recycling, business, planning, public realm and democratic services.