For the first time, residents in West Berkshire will need to show photographic ID to vote at this year's local elections on Thursday 4 May.
Since elections were last held in May 2019, the UK Government has introduced a requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at a polling station at some elections. This new requirement will apply for the first time in England at the May local elections.
Acceptable forms of ID include:
- Driving licence (including provisional license)
- Blue badge
- Certain concessionary travel cards
- Identity card with PASS mark (Proof of Age Standards Scheme)
- Biometric Immigration document
- Defence identity card
- Certain national identity cards
Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.
Voter Authority Certificates
Anyone who does not have one of the acceptable form of ID will be able to apply for free ID online - known as a Voter Authority Certificate. Applications can be made online at electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID or by completing a paper form and sending it to West Berkshire Council's electoral services team. The deadline for applying for a Voter Authority Certificate is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April, 2023.
If you need any help with applying for the free ID or want to request an application form, contact the electoral services team by calling 01635 519464 or emailing email@example.com.
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 on the GOV.UK website. Voters wishing to apply to their council for free ID should first make sure they are registered to vote. The dealine for registering to vote is 11.59pm on Monday 17 April, 2023.
You can find out more about registering to vote, and voting by post or proxy on our website: Registering to Vote and Postal Voting
Voter ID Figures 2023
Collected figures across the area show that 30,362 electors voted at the council's 132 polling stations on 4 May and 99.8% of electors brought photo ID that met newly-introduced voter ID requirements.
At the end of the polling day, 34 electors (0.2%) who tried to vote in a polling station were not given a ballot paper because they did not meet the new voter ID requirements.
The figures also show, while 101 electors were initially turned away, 67 returned with acceptable ID and were able to vote. This means, 66.3% of those initially turned away returned and were issued with a ballot paper.
Chief Executive and Returning Officer Nigel Lynn said: "The council ran an extensive campaign to let residents know about the new photo ID requirements and we are grateful to everyone who helped us get the message out. It is fantastic to see that West Berkshire Council saw nearly 100% of the electorate remember to bring appropriate photo ID. Thank you to everyone who helped at the polling stations on the day and at the count, this helped everything to run smoothly."
Across West Berkshire Council 120,350 people were eligible to vote in person at the polling stations and 30,362 votes were cast.
The overall turnout at the local election was 38%, compared to 36% in the 2019 local elections.
You can find out more about this on our Frequently Asked Questions page and by visiting The Electoral Commission - Voter ID page.
If you can't find what you're looking for you can contact our Elections team on 01635 519464 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.