Fenland residents need photo ID to vote at elections in May
For the first time, Fenland residents will need to show photo ID at polling stations to vote at local elections in May.
Residents are being urged to check now they have an accepted form of photo ID.
Ailsa Irvine, The Electoral Commission's 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."
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.
Elections take place on Thursday, 4 May 2023, for the 18 Fenland District Council wards as well as for 16 town and parish councils in the district.
Accepted forms of ID include original (not photocopied):
· A passport
· A drivers' licence
· Blue Badge disability parking badge
· Proof of age Identity card with PASS mark (Proof of Age Standards Scheme)
· UK Government funded concessionary travel passes, such as a council issued older person's bus pass
· Other Government issued documents such as biometric immigration document, defence identity care, national identity card
· Voter Authority Certificate - a free form of photo ID available on application to people who do not have another accepted form.
Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.
Original ID is required. Photocopies or pictures of ID on phones will not be accepted.
Anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of ID will be able to apply for free ID, known as a Voter Authority Certificate.
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 easiest way to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate (free photo ID) is online at: Apply for free photo ID. The deadline to apply is 5pm on Tuesday, 25 April 2023.
People can contact Fenland District Council for help to apply and to request paper applications. Just email email@example.com or call 01354 654321.
Postal and proxy voting
For people who have nominated a proxy or emergency proxy to vote on their behalf, the proxy must have their own photo ID.
If you already have a postal or proxy application in place you do not need to apply again.
To apply for a postal vote, the deadline for new applications or cancelling an existing postal voting arrangement is 5pm on Tuesday, 18 April 2023.
The deadline for changing an existing proxy arrangement is also 5pm on Tuesday, 18 April 2023.
To apply for a proxy vote the deadline is 5pm on Tuesday, 25 April 2023.
· If you don't have suitable photo ID, apply for free photo ID online at: Apply for free photo ID
· For more information on voting in the elections visit: Elections page. Or contact Fenland's electoral team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01354 654321. The team can also provide paper applications for free photo ID.
· Fenland District Council is likely to be recruiting additional staff to help run the elections, including people to staff polling stations, count votes and deal with postal votes. Find out more at: Working at elections