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Get ready to vote in Chelmsford on 4 May

Photo ID reminder

Full City Council elections are held every four years and residents in all wards of Chelmsford will vote on May 4 2023.

City councillors make important decisions about your local area, so make sure you vote and have your say. Voters will need accepted photo ID for the first time at these local elections, so remember to bring this with you to vote in person at your allocated polling station. Here’s a round up of what you need to know on election day.

Accepted photo ID needed

The UK government has decided that voters must show photo identification when voting in person at elections. So, on Thursday 4 May 2023, you’ll need to show an accepted form of photo ID to vote.

There are lots of different types of ID that will be accepted, including passports, driving licences and Blue Badges: find out if your photo ID is on the approved list. You can also use an accepted form of photo ID if it’s out of out of date, as long as it still looks like you. The name on your ID should be the same name you used to register to vote.

Polling station staff will ask to see your ID, check that it’s accepted, and that it looks like you. If you arrive at a polling station without an accepted form of photo ID, you will be asked to return with ID that is accepted.

Your poll card

Poll cards have now been sent out to eligible Chelmsford voters, but they may look different this year because they’re in the form of a letter. Your polling card will have details of what you need to know when you vote in person, including the address of your polling station. You don’t need to take it with you to vote – just an accepted form of ID.

Your polling station

When you vote in person, you go to the polling station allocated to you based on your address on the electoral register. Before you go to vote, check where your polling station is. It might not be the closest one to where to you live, and it might have changed since the last time you voted.

Your polling station will be on your poll card, but if you can’t find it, you can check using this website: https://wheredoivote.co.uk/.You have to go to your allocated polling station, and you can’t go to a different one close to where you work, for example.

If you’re not sure what to do when you get there, or need any help, just ask the staff at the polling station; they will be happy to assist you. If you will need additional help, you can contact us online.

Remember – you aren’t allowed to take photos inside polling stations as you might accidentally reveal how someone has voted.

Polling station opening times

Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm on polling day.

They can get busy, particularly towards the end of the day. If there’s a queue at your polling station, you’ll still be able to vote as long as you joined the queue before 10pm.

Polling station sign

Who are tellers?

You might see people waiting outside the polling station who ask you for the number on your poll card. These people are called ‘tellers’ and are volunteering on behalf of candidates. They use the information people give them to check who has voted and remind people who haven’t to do so.

They are allowed to be there and to ask for the information, but you don’t have to give them any information if you don’t want to. If you are concerned about the conduct of a teller, speak to a member of staff at the polling station.

Emergency Proxy Vote

The deadline for applying for a proxy vote (appointing someone to cast your vote for you) for the election on 4 May has now passed. But in certain circumstances, where you have an emergency that means you can’t vote in person, you can apply for an emergency proxy up to 5pm on polling day.

This must be something that you weren’t aware of before the normal proxy vote deadline.

  • You have a medical emergency (PDF)
  • You are away for work (PDF)
  • Your photo ID is lost, stolen, destroyed or damaged after the deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate has passed. This form can also be used if your Anonymous Elector’s Document is lost, stolen, destroyed or damaged.

Chelmsford City Council elections

In our area there is a three-tier system of local government, which means that there is one county council, district or city councils and parish councils. Each council has its own responsibilities and you can find out which services Chelmsford City Council delivers on our website: https://www.chelmsford.gov.uk/your-council/councillors-committees-and-decision-making/understanding-what-local-councils-do/

There will also be elections in three parish tier areas in Chelmsford on Thursday and if you live in an area with both a city council and a parish tier election, you will receive two ballot papers. The city paper will be white, and the parish paper will be orange-salmon coloured.

If you have a question about something that isn’t covered in this article, take a look at our website, which has more information about elections in Chelmsford: https://www.chelmsford.gov.uk/voting-and-elections/upcoming-elections/

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Julie Weight
Julie Weight

Julie writes stories and creates videos for Chelmsford City Council. Contact her at julie.weight@chelmsford.gov.uk or on 01245 606984.