Photo ID Required for Voters at South Tyneside Polling Stations
Polling station voters across South Tyneside are being advised they need to show photo ID to be able to vote at this year's local elections.
Voters who prefer to vote in person at a polling station are being urged to make sure they are ready to vote on 4 May by checking that they have an accepted form of ID. The new requirement has been introduced as part of the UK Government's Elections Act, which was passed last year.
Current research suggests that around four per cent of people may not have any form of photo ID or their photo ID may not be acceptable. This means that this May, approximately 3,200 polling station voters in South Tyneside are at risk of losing their ability to vote.
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 order person's bus pass or an Oyster 60+ card. 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 voter-authority-certificate.service.gov.uk or by completing a paper form.
The requirement to show photo ID does not apply to residents who vote by post.
The Council is encouraging anyone who does not want to show ID in a polling station to apply for a postal vote before the deadline of5pm on Tuesday 18 April.
Anyone who wishes to apply for a postal vote can find out more at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/elections or request an application from by calling (0191) 427 7000or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan Tew, Returning Officer at South Tyneside Council, said: "With elections taking place in South Tyneside on 4 May, it is important that people make sure they have an accepted form of ID to vote at a polling station. It may seem early but checking now will help to ensure people are 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 the Council's elections team.
"The alternative to voting in person at a polling station is to vote by post. Residents do not need photo ID to do this. It's really easy to apply for a postal vote and there is a wealth of information on the Council's website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/elections on how to do this."
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."
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 electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID.
Anyone who needs help with applying for the free ID or wants to request an application form, can contact the election's team on (0191) 427 7000.
Those who want to have their say in the elections must also be registered to vote. Registering takes minutes online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote Voters wishing to apply to for free ID should first make sure they are registered to vote.
Notes to editors:
From May, voters will need to show photo ID before voting in local council elections in England, parliamentary by-elections, and police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales. From October 2023, photo ID will be needed at UK parliamentary general elections. It will not be a requirement at local elections in Scotland or Wales, or elections to Scottish Parliament or Senedd. The requirement already exists in Northern Ireland.
To apply for the free ID - Voter Authority Certificate - voters will need to provide a photo, full name, date of birth, the address at which they are registered to vote and their National Insurance number.
The UK Government's Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities is responsible for the new voter ID policy and for the free voter ID application system. Enquiries relating to the application system or the policy itself should be directed to the Department.
The Electoral Commission is responsible for ensuring voters are aware of the new voter ID requirement, and for supporting local authorities with the process. Questions related to the public awareness campaign should be directed to the Electoral Commission.
Local authorities are responsible for implementing voter ID at the local level.