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Mar 31 2023
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Be prepared: photo ID will be required for local elections in May

Voters in Brightlingsea will be required to produce photo ID if they want to vote in town and district council elections on May 4 this year.

The requirement to produce photo ID was passed into law last year – and the forthcoming local elections will the first time that voters across the UK will need more than their polling card to cast a vote. From October this year the law will also apply to UK general elections.

The government says that requiring photo ID, as well as launching an online platform for postal or proxy vote applications, will “eliminate election fraud” – although instances of fraudulent voting are rare.

According to the Electoral Commission, of 595 reported cases covering local, national, mayoral and other elections across the UK in 2019, only four resulted in a conviction and two in a police caution. Police took no action in more than half the cases.

The government claims that 98% of electors have an acceptable form of ID – such as a passport or driving licence. ID doesn’t have to be current, but the photo must still be a good likeness.

Anyone without suitable ID can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate online or by sending a paper application to Tendring District Council. Applicants must be registered to vote in order to apply – the registration deadline for May elections is April 17 – and the deadline for Voter Authority Certificate applications is April 25.

• Brightlingsea Town Council is holding open mornings to give more information to anyone who might want to stand for election in the town. Recent elections have seen town councillors returned unopposed as there were not enough candidates. Four members of the current council were co-opted in June 2021.

The information events are taking place in the Parish Hall, Victoria Place, on February 10 & 11 from 10am to noon.

Voter Information

Acceptable ID: Includes a UK or Commonwealth passport, biometric immigration document, older person’s or disabled bus pass, driving licence, Blue Badge, Freedom Pass and Oyster 60+ card, as well as a Voter Authority Certificate. More information.

Voter Authority Certificate: Available to registered voters who don’t have other forms of photo ID. More information.

Register to vote: This can be done online. You’ll need your National Insurance Number. More information.


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