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Electors in Chichester District will now need to bring photo ID to vote at a polling station in May's local elections

For the first time, residents in Chichester District will need to show photographic ID when they turn out to vote at this year's local elections in May when voting at a polling station.

Ballot box

Residents are being urged to make sure they are ready to vote by checking they have an accepted form of identification.

Accepted forms of ID include a:

  • UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport;
  • a UK or EEA drivers' licence; and,
  • some concessionary travel passes, such as an older 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 (opens new window) or by completing a paper form. People not able to apply online can request an application form from the Elections Team at Chichester District Council by emailing or calling 01243 521010.

Before sending this in, the individual will need to supply a hard copy or electronic photo to accompany their application. Alternatively, if they are unable to supply their own photo or need further help applying, they can contact the Elections Team for assistance.

The Electoral Commission (opens new window) has details about accepted forms of ID, along with more information about the new requirement and details of how to apply for the free ID.

The new requirements have been introduced by the Government as a way of reducing voter fraud.

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance, says: "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."

Diane Shepherd, Returning Officer at Chichester District, said: "With elections taking place across the whole of our district on 4 May 2023, it is important that those who want to vote make sure they have an accepted form of ID. It might 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 them by emailing or calling 01243 521010."

Anyone who wants to have their say in the elections this May must also be registered to vote. If you are not registered, it only takes five minutes to do online (opens new window) at 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. 

Date of Release: 8 February 2023

Reference: 4201