Young people least likely to be aware of voter ID requirement

Young people least likely to be aware of voter ID requirement

New figures released by the Electoral Commission show that while 76% of people know they need to bring ID to vote, awareness of the change stands at 67% for those aged 18-24 years old. While the figure is lower for younger people, it represents an increase from 49% awareness for that age group in December 2022.

For the first time at any election in Great Britain, voters will need to show photographic ID to vote at the local elections in England on 4 May. Accepted forms of ID include a driving licence, passport and identify cards bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (PASS card). A full list of accepted ID is available on the Electoral Commission website. Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.

With the elections fast-approaching, the Commission is calling on young people to check that they have the ID they will need to take part on polling day.

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

“The elections on 4 May will see a significant change in how we vote, and it’s incredibly encouraging to see that so many people now know they need to bring ID.

“However, awareness amongst young voters is lower. The May elections may seem weeks away, but we urge people to take action now so they don’t lose their say.

“Check you have the ID you need to vote on polling day, and then help spread the word. Talk to your friends, flatmates and on your social channels about the new voter ID requirement.”

Anyone without an accepted form of ID will be able to apply to their local council for a free form of ID, called a Voter Authority Certificate. Applications can be submitted online, at gov.uk/apply-for-photo-id-voter-authority-certificate, or by completing a paper form and sending this to the local council’s electoral services team. To be able to vote on 4 May, those who need free ID must apply by 5pm on 25 April.

Craig Westwood continued:

“People should check if they’ve got the right ID, so they can apply for the free ID in time if they don’t. The deadline for applications is next week – 5pm on Tuesday 25 April – so if it’s needed, the best time to apply is now.”

Ends

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

Notes to Editors

  • Research was carried out by YouGov on behalf of the Electoral Commission. Data is for a representative sample of eligible voters in England. Figures shown exclude London respondents. The total sample size was 2,224. Fieldwork was carried out online between 22 March and 5 April 2023.
  • 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. 
  • Accepted forms of ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; or UK or EEA drivers’ licence. Voters can use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.
  • To apply for the 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.