Local elections 2023: Voter ID effect on turnout to be monitored at polling stations

This year’s elections are the first at which voters will be required to show voter ID
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Voters in today’s election will be asked to show photo ID before receiving a ballot paper for the first time.

There are lots of valid forms of ID, but it must include a photo of you.

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The ID can even be out of date, such as an out-of-date UK passport, as long as your name is the same as when you registered to vote and you still look like you do in your photo.

Passports are one form of valid photo ID at this year's local electionsPassports are one form of valid photo ID at this year's local elections
Passports are one form of valid photo ID at this year's local elections

You can’t use a photo or photocopy of your ID document, however.

Prior to the elections, people without a valid form of ID were invited to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate (VAC).

The deadline for this was the 25 April.

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The change was brought in by the Elections Act 2022, passed by the UK parliament.

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The Government says that it will “protect the integrity of our democracy” and tackle electoral fraud.

But critics say it could disenfranchise voters and harm election turnout.

Its actual effect remains to be seen – and will be monitored by the Electoral Commission (EC).

Peterborough City Council (PCC) says that council-level data will be made available after the elections.

This will include:

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– the number of polling station electors who applied for, but not issued with, a ballot paper

– the number of polling station electors who were not issued with a ballot paper and who later returned with accepted ID and were issued with a ballot paper.

The Government is required to monitor the effect of voter ID.

A House of Commons report says: “The Government is required to report on the effect of voter ID on these elections and the next two UK Parliament elections.

“Presiding officers and returning officers will be required to collect information at these elections to inform the review.”