Applications are open for a new form of free ID that can be used at elections.
With local elections taking place in Calderdale on 4 May, voters will need to show an accepted form of photographic ID at the polling station to receive a ballot paper.
Ahead of a new voter ID requirement, the UK Government has opened the online portal for a new form of ID, known as the Voter Authority Certificate, for voters that do not already have an accepted form of photo ID.
Applications can be submitted through the online portal, at voter-authority-certificate.service.gov.uk,(external link) or by submitting a paper form(external link) to Calderdale Council’s Electoral Services at: Electoral Services, Mulcture House, Mulcture Hall Road, Halifax, HX1 1SP.
Those that have an accepted form of ID already do not need to apply.
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.
For those that do not have an accepted form of ID, the deadline to apply for free ID before the May elections is 5pm on 25 April. Applicants must be registered to vote, and will need to provide their date of birth, National Insurance number, and a photograph with their application.
Robin Tuddenham, Calderdale’s Returning Officer, said:
“With elections coming up on 4 May, it is important that Calderdale residents make sure they’re election ready.
“This year, for the first time, residents in Calderdale and across the country will need to show photographic ID to vote at this year’s local elections.
“It’s a good idea to check your ID now, and if you don’t already have an accepted form of ID, apply for one of the free Voter Authority Certificates.
“If you need any help with applying for the free ID or want to request an application form, contact the electoral services team online at https://calderdale.gov.uk/council/democracy/electoral-services/contact.jsp, by email at email@example.com or on 01422 393103.”
Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration at the Electoral Commission, said:
“The availability of free ID is important to maintaining the accessibility of elections. We are calling on all voters to check whether they have an accepted form of ID and, if not, to apply for the certificate.
“We know from research that the vast majority of people already have the ID they need. Those voters only need to remember to bring it with them on polling day. However, anyone who doesn’t currently have an accepted form of ID can now apply for free voter ID.”
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(external link). Voters wishing to apply to their council for free ID should first make sure they are registered to vote.