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Our Accessible Voting campaign
From May 2023, voters in Great Britain will be required to show an approved form of ID at polling stations in order to vote.
This is a key part of the Elections Act 2022. The Government believes the introduction of photo ID will improve the security and integrity of elections by reducing voter fraud.
Anyone who does not have one of the required forms of photo ID will be able to get a free voter identification document called a “Voter Authority Certificate” from their local council.
We are working with both Government and the Electoral Commission to help improve the experience of the democratic process for blind and partially sighted people and raise awareness about the changes.
So what do these changes mean for blind and partially sighted voters?
What voter ID will be accepted?
The voter ID that will be accepted at polling stations includes:
- A passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or a Commonwealth country
- A driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or an EEA state (includes a provisional driving licence)
- A biometric immigration document
- An identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)
- Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
- A Blue Badge
- A national identity card issued by the EEA state
- An Older Person’s Bus Pass
- A Disabled Person’s Bus Pass
- An Oyster 60+ Card
- A Freedom Pass
- A Scottish National Entitlement Card issued in Scotland
- A 60 and Over Welsh Concessionary Travel Card issued in Wales
- A Disabled Person’s Welsh Concessionary Travel Card issued in Wales
- A Senior SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- A Registered Blind SmartPass or Blind Person’s SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- A War Disablement SmartPass or War Disabled SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- A 60+ SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- Half Fare SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
- An Electoral Identity Card issued in Northern Ireland
- Expired documents, such as passports, will also be accepted providing they still provide a good likeness of you and reflect your current address
How do I apply for a VAC?
Applications for the new VAC are now open; you can apply online on the Government’s website or by filing out a paper application form, which you can send to your local council.
When applying, you will need to provide your:
- date of birth
- National Insurance number
You’ll also need to provide a passport-style photograph.
Once you’ve applied your local council will process your application. They will send the Voter Authority Certificate to you by post, along with instructions on how to use your certificate.
What else do I need to know?
We produced the guidance below to help blind and partially sighted voters understand how to exercise their right to vote in an accessible way. We have also created guidance to help those delivering elections understand how to make the voting process as accessible as possible.
If you’d like to hear more about this campaign or about how you can support our work, sign up to our campaign newsletter.