Voter ID - 3 May 2018

Woking Borough Council is one of five Councils working with Cabinet Office to trial the use of ID in polling stations on 3 May 2018. The other Councils that are taking part are Bromley, Gosport, Swindon and Watford.

These trials are likely to be the first in a series which allow the Cabinet Office and Electoral Commission to evaluate the impact of asking for ID before a decision is taken on whether or not to roll it out nationally.

Many countries around the world have already made it a requirement to prove identity at a polling station including Northern Ireland.

Postal voters will not be affected.

Accepted ID in Polling Stations

What ID can I bring?

To vote at a polling station in Woking Borough on 3 May 2018 you must take one of the following:

  • Passport (UK, EU, Commonwealth)
  • UK Photo Driver's Licence (full or provisional)

  • EU Driver's Licence
  • European Economic Area Photographic ID Card
  • UK Biometric Residence Permit

  • Northern Ireland Electoral Identity Card
  • Surrey Senior Bus Pass
  • Surrey Disabled People's Bus Pass
  • Surrey Student Fare Card
  • 16 - 25 Railcard
  • Rail Season Ticket Photocard

Or (if you do not have any of the above ID)

  • Local Elector Card

What if I don't have any of the accepted photo ID?

If you don't have any of the accepted photo ID listed above and want to vote in person at the polling station, you must apply for a local elector card.

You must complete an application form and return it by 5pm on Wednesday 2 May 2018.

If you do not apply for an elector card, and do not have any of the ID listed above, unfortunately you will not be able vote in the polling station.

If you do not want to apply for a local elector card you can still apply for a postal vote or a proxy vote.

I don't have any of the photo ID listed, and I don't have any documents for a Local Elector Card. How can I vote?

If you don't have any of the documents lists above, someone you know can confirm who you are instead. They will need to complete an Attestation of Identity, which is available from Electoral Services on 01483 755855 or email electorcard@woking.gov.uk.

Can I bring photocopies or scanned documents?

No - you must bring your original document with you to the polling station. Scanned images or photocopies will not be accepted.

My passport/photo driving licence has expired. Can I still use it?

Yes - as long as there is still a good likeness between the photo and the elector, expired passports and photo driving licences can be used.

My driving licence refers to my previous address. Can I use it?

Yes - as long as there is still a good likeness between the photo and the elector, it can still be used. The check in the polling station is to confirm the identity of the elector.

What will happen in the polling station?

  • Go to the desk and given your ID to the staff.
  • Tell the staff your name and address, and if your ID is acceptable, they will issue you with a ballot paper and return your ID to you.
  • Take your ballot paper to the voting booth.
  • Read the instructions in the booth and mark your ballot paper
  • When you have marked your ballot paper, fold it so that nobody can see how you have voted.
  • Put your folded ballot paper into the ballot box.
  • If you need any help, please ask the staff.

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Local Elector Cards

How do I get a local elector card.

To get a local elector card, you will need to send a completed application form, provide supporting evidence and a countersigned passport sized photo to the Returning Officer, who will issue you with your Elector Card.

You must complete an application form and return it by 5pm on Wednesday 2 May 2018.

Completed applications and the supporting documents can be emailed to electorcard@woking.gov.uk or send to The Returning Officer, Elector Card Applications, Woking Borough Council, Civic Offices, Gloucester Square, Woking, GU21 6YL

Is there a charge for the Local Elector Card?

No, there is no charge for the Local Elector Card.

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Postal and proxy voting

I am registered for a postal vote - how does the pilot affect me?

If you are registered for a postal vote you will be sent your postal vote as normal prior to the election. The pilot is only for electors who vote in person (or by proxy) in a polling station.

If I am acting as a proxy for someone else, do I still need to bring ID?

The ID requirements still apply to proxies. You, the proxy, will need to bring your own ID, or apply for a Local Elector Card, to cast the vote in the polling station.

Can I still vote by post?

Yes, you can still vote by post, even if you don't have any of the required ID to vote in the polling station.

There is no change to the postal voting process. When you apply for a postal vote you provide 'personal identifiers' (a specimen of your signature and your date of birth) and these are used to confirm your identity when you complete your postal vote.

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Trial details

How is Woking Borough Council going to inform people about the ID requirements?

It is essential that every eligible elector is made aware of the requirement to identify themselves before they can vote. They will be made aware of the need to do so by an extensive public awareness campaign designed and delivered by Woking Borough Council, in partnership with the Cabinet Office and the Electoral Commission. This will commence with an information leaflet being sent to all eligible electors in February 2018.

What happens if people don't have ID? Will they be turned away?

The Cabinet Office is working with local authorities to make sure that every elector knows they need to bring ID to a polling station to vote - there will be extensive and tailored awareness raising campaigns in each trial authority and care will be taken to ensure that electors are able to provide adequate identification. If they are unable to do so, they will not be able to vote.

Why is Woking taking part, but not other neighbouring authorities?

The opportunity to trial voter ID in May 2018 was offered on a number of occasions to all local authorities in Great Britain and a number have committed to do so.

How much will it cost and who is paying?

The trials are being conducted to identify the exact impact of voter ID, including its cost, before it is introduced nationally. The additional costs will be fully funded by the Cabinet Office.

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More information

More information about the Voter ID trial is available by visiting gov.uk.

For more information about Woking scheme, please contact Electoral Services on 01483 755855 or email elections@woking.gov.uk