Do you have everything you need to be able to vote in a local or general election?
Legislation brought in by the government last year means that voters must show photo ID to be allowed to vote at polling stations in some elections.
The rules will apply to the Adur and Worthing local elections on 2nd May as well as for general elections. Anyone who’ll be voting in person at these elections will need to check that they have a valid form of photo ID which looks like them.
If you don’t have valid photo ID – or are concerned about taking it to vote – you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate which will do the same job – and you don’t have to wait until it’s close to the election.
Acceptable forms of photo ID include passports, driving licences and older persons’ bus passes. The ID will need to be taken with you to the polling station when you vote.
Anyone who doesn’t have an accepted form of ID, or who is worried about taking important documents such as a passport to the polling station, can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate. These can be presented at the polling station on election day instead of a photo ID. Anyone voting by post doesn’t need ID. To apply for a postal vote, visit: https://www.gov.uk/apply-postal-vote
The new rules were in place for last year’s local elections in May, before which 275 people successfully applied for a Voter Authority Certificate in Worthing.
Voters can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate online, or by filling out a paper application form to be submitted to Adur & Worthing Councils. The physical application forms can be requested from the councils’ electoral services department by post, or picked up from Worthing Town Hall or the Shoreham Centre. The councils will also be operating an ‘in person’ application service for those who want to apply.
Residents must already be registered to vote to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate. The deadline to submit an application in time for the local elections in May is Wednesday 24 April at 5pm, but please do not leave it until the last minute.
To apply online, visit: https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-photo-id-voter-authority-certificate.
For more information about voter ID legislation, and to see a complete list of accepted forms of ID, visit: https://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/elections-and-voting/photographic-voter-id/.