Local May elections 2023: List of important deadlines to be aware of to vote on May 4

We have rounded up a list of important deadlines you need to know about to vote in the May elections - and some of them are very soon

As the May local elections are near, there are a few things you need to think about before heading to the polling station this year. The local elections are due to take place on May 4, so you can vote for your preferred local councillors.

And with the all-important polling day just over two weeks away, there are a couple of deadlines you need to be aware of to allow you to cast a vote. Firstly, you need to be on the electoral register to vote in elections and referendums - and the deadline to register is looming.

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As well as registering, you need to have a valid photo ID to show at the polling station this year. The new rule comes after the Electoral Commission published a report on electoral fraud in the UK in 2014. But if you do not own a photo ID, you can still vote by applying for a Voter Authority Certificate.

We have rounded up all of the deadlines you need to be aware of ahead of the 2023 local elections. Here’s what they are:

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Local elections 2023 - deadlines you need to know about

Register to vote - April 17 - 11.59pm

To register to vote you need to visit the government website. You’ll be asked for your National Insurance number (but you can still register if you do not have one). After you’ve registered, your name and address will appear on the electoral register. You have until April 17 at 11.59pm to register via the government website.

Register to vote by post - April 18 - 5pm

If you are unable to visit a polling station on election day, you can apply to vote by post. You will receive a polling card through the post before election day. You must then send it back to your local Electoral Registration Office as soon as possible to make sure it is counted.

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To register to vote by post you need to visit the government website.

Register to vote by proxy - April 25 - 5pm

If you’re unable to vote in person you can ask someone to vote on your behalf. This is called a proxy vote. You can only apply for a proxy vote under certain circumstances, including being away on polling day, having a medical issue or disability or not being able to vote in person because of work or military service

Your proxy should be someone you trust to vote on your behalf. You’ll need to tell them which candidate (or referendum outcome) you want to vote for.

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Usually, you need to apply for a proxy vote via the government website at least six working days before election day if you want to vote in England, Scotland or Wales. Visit the government website to apply to vote by proxy.

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Apply for Voter Authority Certificate - April 25 - 5pm

If you do not have a valid photo ID you can apply for a voter authority certificate. It is free of charge and you will just need a recent, digital photo of yourself and your National Insurance Number. However, if you are using this service, you will need to apply for your certificate ahead of the election on the government website.

You can still apply if you do not have a National Insurance number - you’ll need to provide other documents to prove your identity, for example, a birth certificate, bank statement and utility bill. The deadline to register for a voter authority certificate is April 25 at 5pm.

Local elections - valid photo ID

Here’s a list of the valid photo ID you can use at local elections this year. The government website says the photo on your ID must look like you but you can still use your ID even if it has expired.

  • a UK or Northern Ireland photocard driving licence (full or provisional)
  • a driving licence issued by the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, the Isle of Man or any of the Channel Islands
  • a UK passport
  • a passport issued by the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or a Commonwealth country
  • a PASS card (National Proof of Age Standards Scheme)
  • a Blue Badge
  • a biometric residence permit (BRP)
  • a Defence Identity Card (MOD form 90)
  • a national identity card issued by the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
  • a Northern Ireland Electoral Identity Card
  • a Voter Authority Certificate
  • an Anonymous Elector’s Document

You can also use one of the following travel passes as photo ID when you vote:

  • an older person’s bus pass
  • a disabled person’s bus pass
  • an Oyster 60+ card
  • a Freedom Pass
  • a Scottish National Entitlement Card (NEC)
  • a 60 and Over Welsh Concessionary Travel Card
  • a Disabled Person’s Welsh Concessionary Travel Card
  • a Northern Ireland concessionary travel pass

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