North Somerset residents need photo ID to vote at elections in May

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For the first time, residents in North Somerset will need to show photographic ID to vote at this year’s local elections. Residents are being urged to make sure they are ready to vote in May by checking they have an accepted form of ID.

Accepted forms of ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; a UK, EEA or Commonwealth drivers’ licence; and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass. Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.

Anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of ID will be able to apply for free ID online at www.gov.uk/apply-for-photo-id-voter-authority-certificate or by completing a paper form.

The full list of accepted ID is available on the Electoral Commission’s website, along with more information about the new requirement and details of how to apply for the free ID, at www.electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID.

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance, said: "Anyone voting at a polling station in England this May will need to show photo ID before they can be given their ballot paper. It’s important that everyone understands what types of ID they can use, and how to apply for free ID if they need it. You can find information about the new requirement and what to expect at the polling station on the Electoral Commission’s website."

Nicholas Brain, Returning Officer at North Somerset Council, said: "With elections taking place in North Somerset on Thursday 4 May, it's important that those who want to vote make sure they have an accepted form of ID. It may seem early but checking now means you will be ready to vote in May.   "Residents who do not have one of the accepted forms of ID can apply for free ID either online or by completing a paper application form and sending this to our electoral services team. If you need any help with applying for the free ID or want to request an application form, contact the electoral services team at electoral.services@n-somerset.gov.uk."

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 at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. Voters wishing to apply to their council for free ID should first make sure they are registered to vote. 

The requirement to show photo ID at the polling station, is a new requirement, introduced by the UK Government’s Elections Act which was passed last year and comes into effect for the first time this May.