Anyone wishing to vote in person at this year’s local elections in Leeds only has three weeks left to ensure they have accepted photo identification.
In order to be able to vote in person at polling stations on Thursday 4 May, voters will need to be able to show an accepted form of photo ID. Anyone unable to produce such identification at the polling station will not be able to vote.
The list of accepted forms of ID can be seen at Voter photo ID (leeds.gov.uk). If anyone requires new Voter ID, the deadline to apply is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April. In Leeds applications can be completed free including having a new photo taken at community hubs and libraries across the city. There is no need to make an appointment, but anyone wishing to apply this way will need to ensure they have their National Insurance number with them.
Poll cards have begun being posted out to everyone currently registered to vote. The cards include clear guidance on the need to ensure those wishing to vote in person have accepted ID and remember to take it with them in order to be able to vote.
It will be a requirement at polling stations on election day to establish the identity of all voters using the accepted photo ID. It may be necessary for polling officials to ask voters to remove face coverings in order to verify their identity. Privacy booths will be available at all polling stations, with a choice of a male or female official to carry out the check.
The need to have Voter ID only applies to those who wish to vote in person at a polling station or through a proxy in person, it does not affect those who vote by post. Anyone wishing to vote by post can apply to do so via https://www.leeds.gov.uk/your-council/elections/postal-voting. The deadline for applications for postal voting is 5pm on Tuesday 18 April, and residents are being asked to apply as soon as possible to help manage demand.
If anyone wishes to register to vote, including those who have moved home and need to register to vote at their new address, this could be done via Register to vote – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) before the deadline of midnight on Monday 17 April.
Another option available is to vote by proxy, which can be applied for via www.leeds.gov.uk/elections. The deadline for applications to vote by proxy is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April.
Information about the new Voter ID requirement and all voting options can be found on the Electoral Commission’s website at Voter ID | Electoral Commission.
Timeline of key dates ahead of Leeds City Council and parish council elections 2023:
- Monday 27 March: Official pre-election period begins
- From w/c Monday 27 March: Poll cards posted to all registered electors in Leeds
- Tuesday 4 April: List of candidates standing in this year’s election published
- Midnight on Monday 17 April: Deadline for registering to vote
- 5pm on Tuesday 18 April: Deadline for applications for postal voting
- 5pm on Tuesday 25 April: Deadline for applications for Voter Authority Certificate (the new photo ID to be able to vote in person at a polling station)
- 5pm on Tuesday 25 April: Deadline for applications to vote by proxy
- Thursday 4 May: Election day
- Friday 5 May: Votes counted and results declared in Leeds