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Deadlines approaching for voters to register

Published on Wednesday, April 12, 2023

3 minute read

Sign outside a polling station

PEOPLE wanting to take part in this year’s local government elections are running out of time to ensure they are registered to cast their vote.

Voters in Leicester will go to the polls on May 4, 2023, to elect the city’s 54 councillors and its City Mayor.

There are three deadlines that voters need to be aware of over the coming weeks.

  • Anyone wanting to vote must have registered before the deadline of Monday, April 17, to take part in this year’s local elections.
  • In addition, those choosing to use a postal vote must apply to do so before 5pm on Tuesday, April 18.
  • This year sees new Government rules on voter ID for anyone who wants to vote in person at a polling station. People who don’t have any acceptable form of ID listed below can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate instead. The deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate is 5pm on Tuesday, April 25.

The Government is bringing in the new photo ID rules across the UK as a way to tackle electoral fraud. The rules will also be applied to UK general elections from October 2023.

Photo ID including passports, driving licences, Blue Badges, some concessionary travel cards and certain national identity cards can be used.

Voters who don’t have the ID they need can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate either online from the government website or by filling in an application form and giving it to the city council.

People who don’t bring valid photo ID or a Voter Authority Certificate to a polling station will not be able to vote on polling day.

Postal voters don’t require photo ID – they’ll use the normal security arrangements of giving their signature and date of birth on the postal vote statement.

Full details about the new photo ID rules are available at Leicester City Council’s website here:

Leicester City Council’s returning officer, Miranda Cannon, said: “The local elections taking place on May 4 are fast approaching, and I would urge voters who want to take part to ensure they are able to do so.

“Firstly, people need to make sure they are registered to vote – anyone who hasn’t yet registered needs to do so before Monday, April 17. It only takes five minutes and can be done easily online.

“Some people prefer to vote by post, and again anyone wanting to do that needs to have applied for a postal vote by Tuesday, April 18.

“This year’s local elections are also the first time we’ve had new Government rules on photo ID, meaning anyone voting in person at a polling station needs to have an acceptable form of identification, such as their passport, photo driving licence or Blue Badge for example.

“Those who don’t have any of the ID we’d need can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate quickly and easily online, which will need a photo and their National Insurance details. Certificates are free but they need to apply before the deadline of Tuesday, April 25.

“I would encourage people to check they are registered and make they have given in any applications they need to be able to vote. The local elections are a chance for everyone in the city to make their voices heard, and we don’t want anyone to find themselves in a position where they want to vote but are unable to do so.”

Helpful information is available both at Leicester City Council’s website and the Electoral Commission’s website.

The Electoral Commission website also has help and guidance for groups who may have difficulty in producing the right photo ID, such as gypsies and travellers, older people, homeless people, transgender and non-binary people, to help ensure they are able to vote.

People can register to vote at the Government's website here

Voters wanting to apply to their council for free ID should first make sure they are registered to vote.

Details on voting in the local elections are available from the city council website here and from the Electoral Commission here