For the first time, residents in the new Cumberland Council area will need to show photographic ID to vote at this year’s local elections. Residents are being urged to make sure they are ready to vote in May by checking they have an accepted form of ID.
The reminder comes in the week that details of those standing for election have been published. A full list of contested elections can be found on the Cumberland Council website.
Accepted forms of ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; a UK or EEA 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 will be able to apply for free ID online at voter-authority-certificate.service.gov.uk/ or by completing a paper form.
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.
Cumberland Council now provides all council services in the former Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland district council areas. One of its first jobs is the management of the local parish and town council elections. Local residents can find out more about voter ID by going to the council’s website at www.cumberland.gov.uk/voting-and-elections/apply-voter-id
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.”
Andrew Seekings, the Returning Officer at Cumberland Council, said:
“With elections taking place in the new Cumberland Council area on 4 May 2023, it is important that those who want to vote make sure they have an accepted form of 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 ID can apply for free ID either online or by completing a paper application form and sending this to our electoral services teams, who can also answer any questions and provide a paper form.”
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 wishing 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.