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Government urges public to check their photo identification ahead of polls

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The Government is encouraging people to check that they have accepted photo identification ahead of local elections and apply for a free voter authority certificate if needed.

With two weeks until local elections take place, the Government is encouraging people to check that they have accepted photo identification ready and apply for a free voter authority certificate if needed.

Anyone voting in person in local elections taking place in England on Thursday 4th May 2023 will need an accepted form of photo identification to cast their vote.

This brings the rest of the UK in line with Northern Ireland, which has had photo identification to vote in elections since 2003, and will ensure that elections are better protected from the potential for voter fraud.

While the vast majority of voters already own an accepted form of identification, which includes driving licences, blue badges, NUS Totum cards and Freedom passes, voters who do not have accepted photo identification can apply for a free local Voter Authority Certificate by post or online 24 hours a day, up until Tuesday 25 April at 5pm.

The Government is working with the Electoral Commission, local authorities and stakeholders to ensure voters are aware of the changes. The Commission has been running a public awareness campaign since January, running widely across all major channels.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said:

“It’s vital you check now if you have the photo identification needed to vote in English local elections taking place in May.

“While the vast majority of voters already own an accepted form of identification, anyone who needs to can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate before 5pm on Tuesday.

“For more information please check your polling card and find more details online.”

Accepted forms of photo identification and further information are available on gov.uk and the Electoral Commission website.

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