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The Elections Act 2022 introduced a number of changes, the most significant being the requirement to bring photographic ID to vote.

Voter identification

From May 2023, voters will be required to show photographic identification at polling stations before they are given a ballot paper. 

If you do not have any of the accepted photo IDs, and you want to vote at the polling station, you will need to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate.

Find out more about identification requirements for voting.

Other changes to elections

Other measures being introduced by the Elections Act include changes to absent voting, EU citizen's voting and candidacy rights, and overseas electors rights.

Absent voting - postal and proxy voting

Changes to absent voting include:

  • Political parties and campaigners will be banned from handling postal votes
  • There will be a limit to the number of postal votes a person can hand in at a polling station
  • Postal voters will need to make a fresh application every 3 years, instead of the 5-yearly signature refresh
  • Electors will only be allowed to act as proxy for up to 4 people, of which no more than 2 can be 'domestic electors' - i.e. not overseas voters
  • You will have the option to apply for a postal vote via a new central government online system
  • You will need to provide a national insurance number when applying for an absent vote, whether this is an online application or paper application

EU citizens' voting and candidacy rights

From May 2024, the government are introducing changes to the voting and candidacy rights of EU citizens living in the UK.

As a result, some EU citizens that move to the UK after 1 January 2021 will not be able to register to vote, or stand as candidates, in UK elections.

Two groups of EU citizens will retain their rights:

  • EU citizens who were resident in the UK before 1 January 2021
  • People that moved here after 1 January 2021, EU citizens from countries with reciprocal agreements, and who have leave (or do not require it) to remain in the UK - currently Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal Spain and Denmark

This does not affect voters from Ireland, Malta or Cyprus.

We will write to all our residents on the register with EU nationalities to provide full information.

Overseas electors

The 15-year limit on voting for British citizens living abroad has now been removed. Any British citizens who were previously registered to vote in the UK or who were previously resident in the UK are now able to register as an overseas elector.

British citizens registered as overseas electors will be required to re-register every three years. 

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Updated: 22 February 2024

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