Voters across the borough will have to bring official identification with them in order to vote in the upcoming local elections this year.
Following new requirements introduced by the Government, voters across England will need to show eligible photo ID to vote in person in a polling station from May this year onwards.
A new form of free ID, the Voter Authority Certificate, will be available for those who do not have another type of accepted ID. This form of ID must be applied for by 5pm on Tuesday 25 April 2023 to ensure that you are able to vote in the local elections on Thursday 4 May.
The May election in Barrow will be the first for the new Barrow Parish Council which will cover the eleven existing Barrow Borough Council wards that are unparished: Walney North, Walney South, Barrow Island, Hindpool, Central, Ormsgill, Parkside, Risedale, Hawcoat, Newbarns and Roosecote.
In addition, town and parish council elections will also take place for Dalton with Newton Town Council - Dowdales Ward, Beckside Ward and Anty Cross and Newton Ward - Lindal and Marton Parish Council and Askam and Ireleth Parish Council.
When applying for the new ID, you will need to provide:
● Your name
● Your address
● You date of birth
● Your National Insurance Number
● A passport style photograph.
The Voter Authority Certificate can be applied for through this link: https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-photo-id-voter-authority-certificate
Other accepted forms of ID include:
● A passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state, or a Commonwealth country
● A driving licence issued by the UK, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state
● Some concessionary travel passes, such as an Older Person’s Bus Pass
● The new Voter Authority Certificate
● Expired ID will be accepted as long as the person is still recognisable from the photograph.
Cllr Derek Brook, Barrow Borough Council’s Lead Member for Community, said: “This is a big change to the way people vote across the country and It’s important that residents across our borough are aware of it.
“For those who don’t have any form of eligible ID we encourage them to apply for the new free Voter Authority Certificate.
“We want to see a higher turnout than ever in the local elections in May, which will be a landmark moment for Barrow in particular with the launch of a brand new Barrow Town Council.”
As well as local council elections, photo identification will be required when voting in police and crime commissioner elections and any parliamentary by-elections. From October 5, 2023, voters will also need photo ID at UK parliamentary general elections.
For those who do not have an ID or would prefer not to show one at a polling station, they can apply to vote by post or proxy. Voters who show up to a polling station without acceptable photo identification will not be issued a ballot paper.
More information is available on the Electoral Commission’s website at electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID.