Are you ready to vote?

By | March 11, 2024

Since October last year, it’s been a legal requirement that you have to bring photo ID with you to vote in person in a general election – although this doesn’t apply if you’re a postal voter.  I’ll have more information on postal voting in next week’s newsletter – stay tuned!

As we’re due to have an election sometime later this year, I thought I’d give everyone a bit more information about it, which I’ve borrowed from a really useful article that Robin wrote for us on the Tech Inner Circle website.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no insider info about exactly when the election will be, I just think it’s good to be prepared.  But before we start, don’t forget that you need to be registered to vote first!  So if anyone needs to do that, you can start the process here.

Now the good thing is that this photo ID doesn’t have to be in date (within reason), but it does have to look like you.  So whilst an expired passport from last year should be fine, one from 30 years ago probably isn’t going to cut it!

The most common forms of photo ID that you can use include a passport, a driver’s licence, a blue badge, an Older Person’s Bus Pass or a 60+ Oyster card.  If you don’t have any of those, there’s a list of all the acceptable forms of ID here that you can have a look at, to see if you have anything else that might work.

Applying for a Voter Authority Certificate

If you don’t currently have any acceptable photo ID, you can apply online (or by post – more on that in a moment) for a free “Voter Authority Certificate”. You’ll need to give your exact name, address, date of birth and National Insurance number.

Part of the process involves taking and submitting a photo, so it’s a good idea to do the application on a smartphone or tablet with a built-in camera. Or you might want to have someone nearby to help you take a photo and attach it to the online form.

If you don’t have a suitable device, or if you aren’t confident with getting the photo onto the form, you can apply by post instead. You’ll need to get in touch with your local council and ask them to send you a form, or you can download and print a form here to send in (with a photo!) by post.

If you’re comfortable with applying online, click or tap on the link here and then on the green “Start Now” button further down the page. You’ll be taken through a series of questions on each screen – answer each one and click or tap “Continue” to be guided through the process.

Your certificate should then arrive in the post in time for election day – so just remember to take it with you!

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