Make sure you are able to vote in the general election

This year, you will need photographic identification in order to vote in the general election.

The deadline to apply for free voter ID to vote in the Parliamentary general election on Thursday 4 July is 5pm on Wednesday 26 June.

Cartridges Law are offering free voter ID help drop-in sessions on:

Tuesday 11 June, 4pm – 6.30pm

Wednesday 12 June, 10am – 12.30pm

What is voter ID and why do I need it?

This year marks the first general election where people are required to show photographic identification to enable them to exercise their right to vote. This is a major change to our voting practices in the United Kingdom and it is thought that there will be substantial number of eligible voters who will be turned away from polling stations only because they do not have the required photographic ID. The deadline to apply for a free photo ID, known as a Voter Authority Certificate, is Wednesday 26 June.

Cartridges Law recognise that it is likely that many local people may not be ready or may not know what they need or how they may obtain the required documents in time. We are offering free drop in sessions to advise or assist anyone who is concerned that they may not be able to vote.

Making sure you are able to vote

Step 1: Register to vote

Are you on the electoral register? If not, you will need to register to vote. You must register by 18 June 2024 in order to vote in the general election on 4 July.

If you aren’t sure if you are already registered to vote, you can check by contacting your local electoral registration office.

Step 2: Make sure you have acceptable photo ID

There are a number of documents you can use as photo ID and a list of these can be found here.

If you don’t have an acceptable form of photo ID, you can apply for a free voter authority certificate. You will need your National Insurance number and a recent digital photo of yourself.

You can apply online here.

You can also apply by filling out a paper application form and sending it to your local council. You can contact your local council to request a form or in some areas you may also be able to apply in person at your local council offices. You can also call the Electoral Commission helpline on 0800 328 0280 if you have any questions. Or you can attend one of our drop-in sessions and we will be happy to help.

The deadline to apply for Voter ID is 26 June 2024.

Step 3: Apply for a postal or proxy vote if you can’t vote in person on 4 July

If you are unable to vote at your local polling station, you can apply for a postal vote. Your ballot paper will be sent to you before the election. You must make sure your completed ballot is received by polling day, otherwise it will not count.

The deadline to apply for a postal vote to vote in this year’s general election is 19 June 2024.

In some circumstances, you can apply for a proxy vote. A proxy votes allows someone else to vote on your behalf.

The deadline to apply for a proxy vote is 26 June 2024.

Can I register to vote anonymously?

You may not be registered to vote if you need to be anonymous for any of the eligible reasons, for example if you are fleeing domestic violence or stalking. You can apply to register to vote anonymously here.

I need more help

If you have any other questions about registering to vote or applying for voter id, or need help completing the process, you can call into our office during one of our drop-in sessions. We can assist you with the relevant forms, taking a digital photo of you (for sole purpose of applying for voter authority certificate only) or simply advise on what you will need.

Easy read guide: How to apply online for a Voter Authority Certification

It is important to make sure that you have correctly registered to vote and have an acceptable form of Voter ID, otherwise you WILL be turned away from the polling station and be unable to vote.