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Northern Devon residents will need photo ID to vote at elections in May

Polling Station

For the first time, residents in Torridge and North Devon districts, and across the UK, will need to show photographic ID to vote at this year's local elections, which take place on 4th May in northern Devon. Residents are being urged to plan ahead and make sure they are ready to vote by checking they have access to one of the accepted forms of ID.

The forms of ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; a UK, EEA or Commonwealth drivers' licence; and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person's bus pass. Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.

Anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of ID will be able to apply for a free ID online or by completing a paper form when the application process opens in a few weeks' time.

The changes have been decided by the Government and the full list of accepted ID is available on the Electoral Commission's website, along with more information about the new requirement and details of how to apply for the free ID, at

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission, said:

"Anyone voting at a polling station in England this May will need to show photo ID before they can be given their ballot paper. It's important that everyone understands what types of ID they can use, and how to apply for free ID if they need it. You can find information about the new requirement and what to expect at the polling station on the Electoral Commission's website."

Councillor Simon Newton - Lead Member for Legal and Democratic Support at Torridge District Council, said:

"The next elections will soon be with us in May 2023 so it's a good idea to check if you have a valid ID and if not that you apply now for one of the free forms of ID that will be acceptable. We would also recommend that family members check with relatives such as the elderly, or others that may need their help, to ensure they don't lose their right to vote in person. Alternatively it might also be an opportunity to register to vote by post, which is another convenient method people might wish to consider."

Councillor David Worden, Leader of North Devon Council, said:

"As well as the new Photo ID process anyone who wants to have their say in the elections this May must also be registered to vote. It only takes five minutes to register online at Voters wishing to apply to their council for free ID should first make sure they are registered to vote. As usual officers in both authorities will also be on standby to support residents who require further help." 

Anyone requiring further advice should check online in the first instance or call their respective electoral services team - 01237 428739 or elections/  01271 388277

Jan 23

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