Remember your photo ID: Residents get ready to have their say on 4 May
Date published: 27 April 2023
Polling stations across the borough open on Thursday 4 May from 7am until 10pm
With just a few days to go until the local elections on Thursday 4 May Rochdale Borough Council is reminding everyone to make sure they are ready to vote.
For the first time if you are planning to vote at a polling station, you will need to show photographic ID so everyone is being urged to check they have an accepted form of identification. These include a passport, driver’s licence, blue badge and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass. You can use expired ID if you are still recognisable from the photo, but if you turn up without photo ID, you will not be able to vote. People voting by post will not be affected.
Twenty council seats are being contested by candidates seeking to be able to make important decisions on housing, education, transport, planning, parks, leisure, public safety, social care and waste collections.
Everyone registered to vote has been sent a polling card containing details of their local polling station and when they can vote. There are 163,837 registered voters in the borough and 44,170 postal votes have been issued. Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm. Staff will take names and addresses to check whether people are on the register and check photo ID before voters are given a ballot paper. Voting booths ensure votes are cast in private. Staff will be on hand at the polling stations to assist if you need any help.
Anyone who has a medical emergency or suddenly cannot go to the polling station due to work commitments has up to 5pm on polling day to apply for an emergency proxy vote. This allows them to nominate someone they trust to vote on their behalf.
Postal voters, who will have received their forms by now, should return them promptly. Those who are unable to leave their homes to post the votes by themselves, because of health or mobility problems, can call the council on 0300 303 0345 to have them collected.
To help the process run smoothly the council is asking that all postal votes are returned as soon as possible, ideally so they arrive by 3 May. However, they can be delivered in person to Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale, or your polling station up until 10pm on Thursday 4 May when polls close.
Clare Poole, elections manager said: “Having to show photo ID at a polling station is a significant change. Previously electors needed only to verbally confirm their name and address in order to cast a ballot. So before you head to the polling station on 4 May, don’t forget to check your bag, wallet, or pocket to make sure you have the ID you need to vote.”
The UK Government’s Elections Act, which comes into effect for the first time, also means additional measures are being put in place at polling stations to make the voting process more accessible, including assistance for disabled voters.
“Polling station staff will be on hand to make sure voting in person will still be quick and easy. If a voter has concerns about showing their face at a polling station, because they wear a face covering for example, they can ask to have their ID checked in private. They won’t need to give a reason for their request or explain why they’d prefer privacy. Staff will handle requests for ID to be checked in private, discreetly and with courtesy” Clare added.
The following forms of photo ID will be accepted at polling stations:
- Passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, a European Economic Area (EEA) or a Commonwealth country
- Photographic driver’s licence (including provisional), issued by the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state
- EEA photographic ID card
- UK Biometric Residence Permit
- An identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (PASS card)
- Blue Badge
- Oyster 60+ card
- Concessionary travel pass funded by HM Government or local authority, such as an older person's bus pass, disabled person's bus pass, or a Welsh or Northern Ireland travel card
- Defence identity card
Get the full list of accepted ID at electoralcommission.org.uk/VoterID
To find out more about photo ID, details of the candidates, locations of polling stations, apply for an emergency proxy vote and to get the results when announced on Friday 5 May visit www.rochdale.gov.uk/elections. Also follow #HeyMiddElections and #RochdaleElections on Twitter and Facebook.
Printed booklets about voter ID and the changes in the local elections are available in English and translated into other community languages from council customer service centres and libraries across the borough.
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