Changes to Voting

Changes to voting at polling stations 

Elections take place in Surrey Heath on Thursday 4 May 2023 for Borough and Parish Councillors. 

The Government has introduced a new law which means that anyone voting in person at a polling station will need to show photo identification before being given a ballot paper to vote. 

The new law is intended to enhance security of the voting process and reduce the risk of voter fraud. 

Voters will need to show one type of identification from the list below. If your photo identification has expired, you can still use it if the photo remains a good likeness of you. Only original documents will be accepted; scanned images or copies can’t be used. 

If you or someone you know doesn’t have one of these types of identification you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate. The certificate is free of charge, valid for at least 10 years and can be used for all elections. 

You will not need to use photo identification if you vote by post, as other ways to verify you are used. 

If you are voting on behalf of someone else at a polling station (known as a proxy vote) you will need to show polling station staff your photo identification. 

Types of photo identification that can be used

Only photo identification on the Government’s approved list will be accepted. These include;  

  • UK passport
  • Passport for a Commonwealth country or a European Economic Area (EEA) state
  • Photocard driving licence (includes a provisional licence)
  • Photocard driving licence from Channel Islands, Isle of Man or EEA state

The full list of identification you can use can be found on the Gov.uk website.  

Voter Authority Certificate

If you do not have any of the accepted photo identification you will be able to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate. 

You can apply online on the gov.uk website. You can also apply in person at Surrey Heath Borough Council offices or by post. If you would like us to send you a paper application form please contact us using the details below. 

If you have any questions about photo identification please contact us on vote@surreyheath.gov.uk or call 01276 707165.

For more information, visit the Electoral Commision's webpage on Voter ID.