One month left to register to vote at the May elections

One month left to register to vote at the May elections

On Thursday 4 May, 230 local authorities across England will be holding elections. Ahead of that, the Electoral Commission is urging voters to ensure they are registered before the 17 April deadline.

Registering to vote takes just five minutes and can be done online at A person can register to vote in the May elections if they are aged 18 or over on polling day, a British citizen resident in the UK, or an Irish, EU or qualifying Commonwealth citizen resident in the UK.

Anyone previously on the register who has recently moved home or whose details have changed will need to register to vote again.

Craig Westwood, Director of Communications at the Electoral Commission, said:

“Only those registered to vote can have their say at the May elections on issues important to their local areas. It only takes five minutes, and we encourage everyone to make sure they are correctly registered, particularly those that may have changed address since last year.”

Those intending to vote at polling stations in May will need to show photographic ID. A list of accepted forms of ID is available on the Electoral Commission’s website. Those that do not have eligible ID can apply for free voter ID before the deadline of 5pm on 25 April. This requires the same information needed to register to vote – name, date of birth, address, National Insurance number – plus a photograph.

Craig added:

“This year voters should also remember that they will need to bring photo ID to the polling station to be able to vote. Anyone that does not have an accepted form of ID can apply for free voter ID by 25 April.”


The Commission has spokespeople available to discuss voter registration and the new voter ID requirement.

For more information contact the Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0704, out of office hours 07789 920 414 or

Notes to Editors

  • The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK. We work to promote public confidence in the democratic process and ensure its integrity by:
    • enabling the delivery of free and fair elections and referendums, focusing on the needs of electors and addressing the changing environment to ensure every vote remains secure and accessible
    • regulating political finance – taking proactive steps to increase transparency, ensure compliance and pursue breaches
    • using our expertise to make and advocate for changes to our democracy, aiming to improve fairness, transparency and efficiency
  • To vote in the May elections a person must be registered to vote, 18 years or over on polling day and also be either a EU, UK or Irish citizen or a qualifying Commonwealth citizen resident in the UK. British citizens living overseas who are registered to vote as overseas electors cannot vote in local government elections.
  • People can choose to vote in person, by post or by appointing someone they trust to vote in their place, known as a proxy vote. The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on 18 April, and for a proxy vote the deadline is 5pm on 25 April.
  • The requirement to show photo ID at the polling station, is a new requirement, introduced by the UK Government’s Elections Act which was passed last year.
  • To apply for the free ID, known as a Voter Authority Certificate, voters will need to provide a photo, full name, date of birth, the address at which they are registered to vote and their National Insurance number.