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Date posted: 20th January 2023
Thousands of council seats are up for election in many parts of England this May. Blind and partially sighted people are being warned not to risk losing their right to vote as a result of new photographic identification rules that have been introduced.
The government has changed the law so voters will now be required to bring a form of photographic identification with you in order to cast your vote in your person.
Late last year we reported that the Government had published details on which photographic identification (voter ID) will be accepted at polling stations in this year’s May elections.
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, and it will mean that from this May, everyone will need a photo ID in order to vote.
We’ve fought to ensure that this legislation won’t infringe the rights of blind and partially sighted people to vote.
That’s why, for those without a valid form of photo ID, the Government is providing a free-of-charge Voter Authority Certificate.
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:
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.
You’ll need this document to vote in person in the future for any election, including future General Elections. Make sure you don’t lose your vote by applying now.
We’ve worked with Government and the Electoral Commission to make this application process as accessible as possible but, if you’d like to suggest improvements, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you vote by postal vote, then these new rules won’t affect you as identification requirements are already part of the application process.