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Voters in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area will need to show an accepted form of photographic identification at this year’s local elections.

The requirement to show photo ID at the polling station is a new condition, introduced under the UK Government’s Elections Act, which comes into effect for the first time this May.

BCP Council is urging Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole residents to make sure they are ready to vote in 2023’s local elections by checking now for an accepted form of ID and bringing it with them to the polling station in May.

Accepted 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.

If voters don’t have accepted photo ID, they can apply for a free voter ID document, which is known as a ‘Voter Authority Certificate’ later this month.

Graham Farrant, Returning Officer at BCP Council said:
“With council elections taking place in BCP on 4 May 2023, it is important that those who want to vote make sure they have an accepted form of ID. It may seem early but checking now means you will be ready to vote in May.
“Residents who do not have one of the accepted forms of ID will be able to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate either online or by completing a paper application form when this service launches in a few weeks’ time.”

Anyone who wants to have their say in the elections – or wishes to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate – must also be registered to vote by Monday 17 April 2023.

Residents can check to see if they are already on the electoral register and find out more information on BCP Council’s elections at:
by calling 01202 123400
or email:

Those needing to register to vote can do so at:
Residents will not need to provide photo ID to vote by post. To apply to vote by post, application forms must reach the council by 5pm on Tuesday 18 April 2023.

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