Don’t lose your Vote

If you do not have a valid driving license or passport you could lose your right to vote in the next General Election.

New legislation means that you have to bring valid Photo ID to the polling booth to be allowed to vote in elections in the United Kingdom. This can be a passport or driving license or a senior bus pass or a young person’s PASS proof of age Photo ID. If you do not have any of these documents, you will be denied your right to Vote.

Brighton and Hove Liberal Democrats urge you to make sure you can vote in the upcoming general election regardless of the party you choose to vote for. Do not lose your democratic right to vote! The Liberal Democrats oppose the introduction of Voter ID and suspect the motives of the Conservative government for doing so. Why can’t we bring our polling card to the polling station? Or is this the introduction of identity cards on the quiet?

If you have moved house recently or are not on the electoral roll you should make sure first that you are registered to vote. In our area we regularly receive a confirmation note of who is registered to vote at our address and can add people easily. Otherwise, you can register online here.

The simplest way to vote if you do not have valid photo identity documents is to register for a postal vote. You can do this easily on the voter registration forms sent to you by your local election authority or online and post using forms available here. You will be sent voting documents a couple of weeks before the election to return by post.

You could apply for a Driving License for £36 or a Passport for around £100 or young people can get a PASS proof of Age Photo ID from the post office and other vendors for around £15. You may have to print out a form to be completed by your teacher, or doctor or other recognised individual who knows you if you do not already have Photo ID. Seniors can use their photo ID bus pass if it is a government funded scheme. That leaves many non-drivers and staycation people without the chance to vote.

If you have exhausted these options and you do not have a postal vote or the Photo ID to allow you to vote in person, then you can apply for a Voter ID Card from the Government here. Make sure you take a good look at your options and apply in good time as the next general election is taking place before the end of January 2025.

I applied for a Citizen Card from the Post Office online for £15. If you do not already have photo ID you will need to print out a form together with a photocopy of your birth certificate or medical card and have it signed by your teacher, doctor or other responsible person that knows you. In my case applying with my laptop caused endless problems because the image was not clear enough and you can only supply an image taken with the device camera.

You can apply online or by post for a Voter Authority Certificate which is a free form of photo ID for voting purposes only. This seems to be a simple application process if you are already registered to vote and you just need to supply a photo. In my case the form was referred to my local Brighton and Hove electoral office and I am waiting for a response.

It seems that a registering for a postal vote is the easiest option if you do not have a driving license or passport or young persons proof of age PASS card or a senior bus card to be allowed to vote in the general election later in the year. You should also be fine if you register well in advance for a Voter Authority Certificate and you do not need other existing forms if identification to get a card.

To find out more about the Liberal Democrats in Brighton and Hove including how to oppose the introduction of Voter ID please sign up for email updates at www.liberalbrighton.uk/signup.

Some useful links for you:

Register to Vote – you will need your National Insurance number.

Register for a Postal Vote – avoid the need for Photo ID with a postal vote.

Apply for Voter Authority Certificate – you need to be registered to Vote and have a National Insurance Number and you can get free Voter Photo ID from your local election authority online or by post.

Post Office PASS Card Scheme – a Citizen Card for proof of Age for £15.

Driving License – apply for a provisional license for £34 but you will need to prove your identity with a birth certificate or other document.

Passport Application – apply at the Post Office for a UK or Irish Passport from around £100.

Stamati Crook – Brighton and Hove Liberal Democrats