Voters face an extra hurdle to cast their ballot in Thursday’s local elections in England, with the introduction of a requirement to produce photo ID.
Brought in by ministers in what they say is an attempt to crack down on a handful of allegations of in-person voter fraud, the move means political parties are having to work harder than before to “get out the vote
Previously, people in England, Scotland and Wales could attend a polling station and simply give their address to vote, with some choosing to bring along their poll card.
But after trials in 10 areas, photo ID is being rolled out for the first time nationally at this set of local elections – and will be required for all future polls, as well as police and crime commissioner elections, general elections and recall petitions.
Original versions of the ID are necessary; photocopies will not be allowed. But ID will still be usable even if it is out of date – so long as the voter still resembles their picture and their name matches the one the on the electoral roll.
As well as a passport or driving licence, other forms of acceptable ID include a blue badge, older person’s or disabled person’s bus pass, or any identity card bearing the hologram of the proof of age standards scheme. National identity cards issued by a country in the European Economic Area and biometric immigration documents also count.
Those without acceptable ID were permitted to apply for a voter authority certificate but the deadline of 25 April has passed.