Scottish voters urged to check their ID before the UK general election

Scottish voters urged to check their ID before the UK general election

A new public awareness campaign, launched today by the Electoral Commission, is urging voters across Scotland to make sure they are ready for changes to how we vote at UK Parliament elections. A new requirement to show photographic ID at polling places will apply for the first time across Scotland at the next UK general election which must take place before the end of January 2025.

The Commission’s public awareness campaign features giant sticky notes with handwritten reminders to bring ID to the polling station. The adverts will feature on social feeds and website banners, and in local newspapers across Scotland.

Andy O’Neill, Head of the Electoral Commission, Scotland said:

“The UK general election will take place by the end of January 2025, so it is worth voters taking note of the changes now, and checking they have appropriate ID. That way, when polling day arrives, all they have to do is remember to bring it.

“Those who don’t have an accepted form of ID can apply for free ID. We are working closely with councils and civil society organisations to support those less likely to have ID, so that nobody misses the opportunity to have their say.”

Accepted forms of photo ID include a passport, driving licence, older persons or disabled persons bus pass and Young Scot card. Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo. The full list of ID is available at electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID

Anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of ID will be able to apply for free ID online at www.voter-authority-certificate.service.gov.uk/ or by completing a paper form available from their electoral registration office.

Andy O’Neill added:

“Our campaign aims to build awareness of the change amongst voters and remind them to bring ID on polling day. Those seeking more information on accepted forms of ID and the free ID should visit the Commission’s website for more information.”

Ends

The Commission has spokespeople available to discuss voter ID. To arrange this please contact Sarah Mackie on 0131 225 0211 or at press@electoralcommission.org.uk.

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:

  1. 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

    The Commission was set up in 2000 and reports to the Scottish, UK and Welsh parliaments.

  2. The UK Government’s Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities is responsible for the new voter ID policy and for the free voter ID application system. Enquiries relating to the application system or the policy itself should be directed to the Department.
  3. The Electoral Commission is responsible for ensuring voters are aware of the new voter ID requirement, and for supporting electoral administrators with administering the process. Questions related to the public awareness campaign should be directed to the Electoral Commission.
  4. The campaign launched today will last for six weeks. A wider public awareness campaign will be launched when the UK general election is called and will include TV, radio, outdoor, social feeds and website banners and print advertising.
  5. Further information on the photo ID requirement is available in our media handbook for UK Parliament elections
  6. Electoral Registration Officers and Returning Officers are responsible for implementing voter ID at the local level.