Poll card letters prompt voters to bring photo ID to vote at May local elections

Information on the new voter ID requirement for the 2023 local elections features in a poll card letter being delivered to registered voters from next Friday (24 March).

Published: Friday, 17th March 2023

poll card envelope 2023

The top of the A4 poll card letter makes it clear that voters must show photographic identification to the polling station staff in order to cast their vote at the local elections on Thursday, 4 May 2023. It follows UK-wide legislation introduced last year by the Government.

The back of the letter includes the full list of accepted photographic identification which includes passports, photographic driving licences, biometric immigration documents and some concessionary travel passes. The full list is also available on Swindon Borough Council’s website: www.swindon.gov.uk/voterID

Registered voters are urged to look out for the poll card letter which will arrive in an envelope marked ‘Official Poll Card’ and with the call to action ‘Bring your Photo ID to vote on 4 May 2023’.

The letter explains that voters can still use their photo ID if it’s out of date, as long as it is still a likely representation of the person who appears on the ID. The name on the form of ID should be the same name which was used as part of the voter registration process. Only original documents will be accepted and the polling card letter is not an accepted form of ID.

The letter also advises electors that if they do not possess any of the accepted forms of photographic identification, they can apply to the Council for a free Voter Authority Certificate. This can be done online at www.gov.uk/apply-for-photo-id-voter-authority-certificate or by phoning the Council on 01793 445 500 to request an application form by post. Alternatively, electors can apply in person on any working day between 9.30am and 4pm at the Civic Offices in Euclid Street, Swindon, SN1 2JH. Completed applications must reach the Council before 5pm on Tuesday, 25 April 2023.

Postal voters are not affected by the new voter ID requirements. Anyone wishing to vote by post can do so by registering on Swindon Borough Council’s website before 5pm on 18 April. To vote by proxy, when you trust someone to vote on your behalf, voters should register before 5pm on 25 April. Further information about both of these voting options can be found at: www.swindon.gov.uk/postalvoting

To vote in the upcoming elections, residents must be registered to vote by Monday, 17 April 2023. Anyone not currently registered can do this in a few minutes at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Susie Kemp, Swindon Borough Council’s Returning Officer, said: “There’s just over six weeks left until the local elections on 4 May, so please be prepared to vote by making sure you have an accepted form of photo ID to take with you to the polling station.

“I urge everyone to carefully read the information on your polling card letter – there are key details on what form of identification you need to bring and where your polling station is.

“Voters who do not have any accepted photographic ID have until 5pm on Tuesday, 25 April to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate and I would encourage anyone who requires one of these to register as soon as possible.”

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