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Politics

Local elections: You can still vote if you’ve lost your ID. Here’s how.

Lost your ID? You can still vote in the local elections. Here’s what you need to know.

Lost your photo ID? Here’s how you can still vote in May’s local government elections.

Under new rules, voters in England will need to show photo ID before they are allowed to vote at the May 4 election.

The government has claimed that the requirement will crack down on voter impersonation, despite there being just 33 allegations at the 2019 election  – equivalent to 0.000057 per cent of votes. A single person was convicted of the offence.

The ballot boxes are now safe from such rampant fraud, but millions of people without ID have been disenfranchised.

If you’re in this group, you may still be able to vote. Here’s how.

How to vote by proxy

If your photo ID has been lost, stolen, destroyed or damaged, you are eligible to apply for an emergency proxy vote. This means you nominate someone to vote for you.

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To apply, download and complete the form linked under the ‘Emergency proxy vote’ section of this web page

The form provides a tick-box list of reasons why you are applying to vote by proxy. These include:

  • If your ID has been lost, stolen, or damaged to the point it is no longer usable and the loss, theft or damage took place after 5pm, six working days before the election (April 25).
  • You sent your ID to someone else to prove your identity after 5pm, six working days before the election, and you don’t think your ID will be returned to you before the election.
  • You applied for ID in the last three months but did not receive it by 5pm, six working days before the election, and your application has not been refused.
  • You are an anonymous elector and do not have a valid Anonymous Elector’s Document.
  • You have a temporary Voter Authority Certificate for a specific date.

You must return the form to your local electoral registration office by 5pm on the day of the election: Thursday May 4. A list of these websites can be found here.

Both you and your proxy must be registered to vote, and your proxy must bring valid photo ID to the polling station.

You can also apply for an emergency proxy vote if you are away for work of if you have a medical emergency.

You can find a list of the different types of ID that you can use here.

How many people don’t have photo ID?

This is the first election since the government’s voter ID laws passed last year.

Research commissioned by the government found nine per cent of people do not have “in-date and recognisable” photo ID.

Just 85,698 people applied to the government’s free voter ID scheme before last week’s deadline.

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Nationwide, an estimated two million voters lacking necessary documentation. Hundreds of thousands of these people live in councils holding elections tomorrow.

Voting rights campaign groups have slammed the policy, which disproportionately impacts disabled people and the elderly.

“The government’s new voter ID requirements are a clear and present danger to democracy in our country,” Tom Brake, director of Unlock Democracy and a former Lib Dem MP, told The Big Issue.

“The government’s much vaunted voter authority certificate scheme is an absolute failure with only around 85,000 applications. Never before will so many people be at risk of being turned away from casting their vote, either because they don’t have the right form of ID, or they simply forget to take it with them.”

Around a quarter of voters wrongly believe they don’t need ID to cast a ballot.

Do you have a story to tell or opinions to share about this? We want to hear from you. Get in touch and tell us more.

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