Elections Act 2022

Changes to how you vote

Requirement to show Photo ID at polling stations

The government have passed a new law which will mean that people voting in person or by proxy at polling stations will now have to show photo identification.

Voters must bring a suitable form of photo ID to their polling station. Only original documents are accepted; scanned images or copies will not be accepted however expired documents are accepted if the photo is still a current likeness.

No suitable photo ID?

If you do not have any of the accepted photo ID, and you want to vote at your polling station, you will need to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate. This is a free photographic identification document specifically for the purposes of voting.

Voters who do not produce a Voter Authority Certificates, or valid ID will not be allowed to vote on the day.

Your poll card will be issued in good time for the election and will arrive in an envelope addressed to you. Acceptable forms of identification will be listed on your poll card.

Changes to Postal Voting

When applying for a postal vote, you will now need to supply your National Insurance Number, as well as your name, address and date of birth in order that we can verify your identity. You will also need to be able to upload a photo / image of your handwritten signature as part of the application.

If your postal vote was approved before 31 October 2023, you will need to reapply before 31 January 2026 and you will be contacted before the deadline if you have not reapplied.

Returning your Postal Vote

The easiest way to return your postal vote is by post via Royal Mail. If you hand your postal vote in at the Council offices, this must be done during normal office hours, and you will be asked to complete a form. If a form is not completed, your postal vote will be rejected. You will also be asked to complete a form if you hand your postal vote in at a polling station on the day of the election. Voters will not be allowed to hand in more than five postal ballot packs (in addition to their own).

Changes to Proxy Voting

You can now apply online for some types of proxy vote.  Your identity to be checked and verified for both online and paper applications (except for emergency proxy votes). 

There is now a limit to the amount of people someone can be a proxy for. You can act as a proxy for two people. If you vote on behalf of UK voters who live overseas, you can act as a proxy for up to four people (but only two of those can live in the UK). 

Improving the accessibility of elections

The new law will make it easier for people with disabilities to vote. Anyone over 18 can act as a companion to a voter with a disability. Returning Officers will take all reasonable steps to support voters with disabilities to improve the range and quality of support.

Changes to Overseas Voting

British and eligible Irish citizens living overseas can now register to vote in the UK no matter how long ago they left or were last registered to vote in the UK. An overseas declaration is valid for three years, lasting until 1 November in the third year after it takes effect (for example, if the declaration takes effect on 1 March 2024, it will expire on 1 November 2026).

Find out more about the Elections Act 2022