When the Elections Bill was in Parliament, which included the requirement that voters produce photo ID at polling stations for the first time on the mainland, I received few letters of objection, and I still do.
Voter fraud in the form of ‘personation’ has not been a problem in The New Forest but there are districts in some of our cities where the there has been real concern about the integrity of the ballot.
In any event, it is no use reheating the arguments that were rehearsed in Parliament during the Bill’s passage. It is now The Elections Act 2022. So, as from May this year individuals who wish to vote in person, including those acting as a proxy on behalf of another individual, will be required to produce an accepted form of photographic ID at the polling station in order to vote. They have had to do so for years in Northern Ireland, and it was also successfully piloted in a number of districts on the mainland too: We know that it works.
We have District and Parish Council elections in the New Forest on 4th May, so get ready: When you go to your polling station you will need to take with you one of the following documents. It doesn’t matter if they have expired so long as the photo is still a good likeness.
A Passport issued by UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, British Overseas Territories
- A Passport issued by an EEA State
- A Passport issued by a Commonwealth Country
- Photographic driver’s licence (full or provisional) issued by the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state
- EEA photographic ID card
- UK Biometric Residence Permit
- An identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (PASS card)
- A blue badge
- Oyster 60+ card
- A concessionary travel pass funded by HM Government or local authority, such as a Hampshire County Council Bus pass, disabled persons bus pass or Welsh or Northern Ireland travel card.
You must take the original document with you to the polling station: A scanned, electronic version or a copy will not be accepted.
(Beware, University and College Student Union cards are NOT included).
If you do not have any of these then you can apply to New Forest District Council to get a free Voter Authority Certificate. This is a document containing the voter’s name and photograph, specifically for the purposes of voting and will be accepted at the polling station. The deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate will be 5pm on Tuesday 25 April. But don’t wait, do it while it is in your mind, like the right now!
The application form can be downloaded from https://newforest.gov.uk/VoterID and emailed to email@example.com