Elections: Proof of Identity

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered on 16th November 2022.

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Photo of Jessica Morden Jessica Morden Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Shadow Vice Chamberlain of HM Household (Whip), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps the Government is taking to support (a) vulnerable individuals and (b) local authorities with the upcoming requirement to show photo ID for voting in UK Parliamentary elections; and whether the Government will be running public information campaigns to raise awareness of the changes.

Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Labour, Lancaster and Fleetwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, which security features he is considering recommending on the (a) free voter authority certificates and (b) anonymous elector’s document required in May 2023.

Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans he has to produce guidance on the forms of identification that will be accepted at polling stations following the coming into force of the Elections Act 2022; and whether provisional driving licences will be among the acceptable forms of identification.

Photo of Lee Rowley Lee Rowley Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

Schedule 1 of the Elections Act 2022 sets out the forms of identification that will be accepted at polling stations in order to receive a ballot paper. Driving licences are an accepted form of identification, and this includes provisional driving licences.

Everyone who is eligible to vote will continue to have the opportunity to do so. Research has shown that the overwhelming majority of electors already have accepted identification. Any eligible voter who does not have one of the wide range of acceptable forms of photographic identification will be able to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate from their local authority.

The Electoral Commission will deliver a national communications campaign for voter identification. Funding will be provided to local authorities to cover additional costs as a result of the changes, in line with established government policy. Further information will be announced in due course in the appropriate way.

A range of security features will be present on both the Voter Authority Certificate and Anonymous Elector's Document and these have been developed in conjunction with suppliers and HM Passport Office.

There will be overt security measures present to allow quick and easy confirmation should a document's validity be in question. However, it is established good practice not to publish the full details of all security features, as doing so would expose them to those who may attempt to forge or tamper with them. Withholding a degree of information is essential to ensure these documents' security remains intact.

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