THERE are just two weeks left to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate, for voters that do not have another accepted form of photo ID they can use in polling stations this May. The Electoral Commission is calling on anyone that needs the free ID to apply now, before the deadline of 5pm on Tuesday 25 April.
Over 55,000 people have already applied for a Voter Authority Certificate ahead of the May elections, where photo ID will be required for the first time at polling stations in England.
New research from the Commission shows that 76% of people now know they need to bring photo ID to vote in a polling station, compared to 22% in December and 63% in February.
Applications can be submitted online at gov.uk/apply-for-photo-id-voter-authority-certificate, or by completing a paper form and sending this to the local council’s electoral services team. Voters will need to provide a photo, their full name, date of birth, the address at which they are registered to vote and their National Insurance number.
Applicants must be registered to vote before applying. The registration deadline is 11.59pm on Monday 17 April, and applications to register can be made online at gov.uk/register-to-vote.
Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission said:
“The deadline to apply for the free voter ID is fast approaching and anyone that needs it should get their application in as soon as they can. The free ID will help ensure that everyone is able to take part in the May elections, even if they don’t currently have an accepted form of photo ID.
“The process of applying doesn’t take long and there is information and support available from the Electoral Commission and your local authority. If you have friends or family who don’t have an accepted form of photo ID, please spread the word.
“It is encouraging to see public awarness of voter ID continue to grow. Our efforts to reach voters with information about the requirement will continue up until polling day.”
Anyone with questions about applying for the free ID should contact their local authority. Contact details – and more information about the ID requirements – can be found on the Electoral Commission website.