The Elections Act 2022 means that from May 2023 voters across Britain will need to show photo ID to be able to cast their ballot in person.
Maidstone will be holding its next local election on Thursday 4 May. Anyone who is registered but does not have one of the approved types of photo ID will be able to apply to get a free Voter Authority Certificate up until 25 April.
The Council is asking anyone who doesn’t have the necessary ID to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate, or arrange for a postal vote, now so that they receive it in good time.
Angela Woodhouse, Returning Officer for Maidstone Borough Council said:
The requirement for photo ID for voters when arriving at the polling station is a big change this year. We realise that there may be some residents who don’t have ID that meets the requirements so we are asking them to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate now so they can still cast their vote at a polling station.
It is really important that everyone who has the right to vote does so - as every single vote counts and we want to make sure that all our residents who are eligible can do so. If anyone doesn’t have a valid form of ID, please apply now, or arrange a postal vote, in good time so that you can vote at the election on 4 May.
More information on Voter ID and an applications for the Voter Authority Certificate can be made using the UK Gov Website:
A wide range of photographic identification which will be acceptable at polling stations include:
Expired photographic identification will also be accepted if the photograph is of a good enough likeness to allow polling station staff to confirm the identity of the holder.
A third of Maidstone’s 55 seats are up for election, and Polling stations across the borough will open on Thursday 4 May for people to cast their votes between 7am and 10pm on polling day, and the count will take place on Friday 5 May with results being made available later that day.
The UK has very low levels of proven electoral fraud but the new policy – which is part of the Elections Act 2022 has been introduced to give the public more confidence in voting and stamp out any potential fraud taking place. According to Electoral Commission public opinion research, two-thirds of people say they would feel more confident in the security of the voting system if there was a requirement to show photo ID.
To find out more about voter photo ID and applying for a Voter Authority Certificate please go to: www.electoralcommission.org.uk