Deadlines approaching to vote in May's election

hands posting a ballot paper into a ballot box
Residents are being urged not to miss out on their chance to vote in this year’s local elections, which take place across East Herts on Thursday, 4 May.

The deadline to register to vote is Monday, 17 April. Voters can also apply for a postal vote until Tuesday, 18 April, or a proxy vote until Tuesday, 25 April. Applications for postal and proxy votes can be submitted via the downloadable form on the council website.

The government has introduced new legislation this year, which means that people voting at a polling station must show a photo ID before being issued with a ballot paper.

Accepted forms of ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; a UK or EEA driver’s licence; and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass. Voters can use expired IDs if they are still recognisable from the photo.

If a voter does not have an acceptable form of photo ID, they can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate (VAC) online at Application forms are also available to download from the Electoral Commission website and must be returned to Electoral Services, East Herts Council, Pegs Lane, Hertford, Herts, SG13 8EQ.

The deadline to apply for a VAC is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April, but people are asked to apply now if they do not already have an accepted form of photo ID.

Richard Cassidy, Chief Executive and Returning Officer at East Herts Council, said: “The changes will affect everyone in the district, so we are working hard to let people know about them in advance, especially those who are less likely to have an accepted form of ID.

“It is essential that voters bring their photo ID on election day. Otherwise, our staff will not be able to issue a ballot paper and they could miss out on their chance to cast their vote.

“That is why we are urging everyone to check that they have one of the acceptable forms of ID, and if not, apply for a Voter Authority Certificate as soon as possible.”

More information about the upcoming elections, how to register and voter ID requirements is available on the council’s website.