Voter ID: deadline looms for Lancaster and Morecambe residents without photo ID to get voter certificate for local elections

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There is not long left for residents across the Fylde coast to apply for a special document that they will need in order to vote in this year’s local elections - if they do not have a suitable form of photo ID.

The polls taking place in districts including Lancaster on 4th May are amongst the first where voters will be required to prove their identity before they can have their say over who they want to represent them.

It follows the introduction of controversial new rules nationwide, which have drawn cross-party concern that some people could end up being denied a vote.

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Anybody wanting to cast an in-person vote at all future local and general elections in England will have to present one of the accepted methods of photo-bearing ID and the picture must still be a good likeness. Options include a driving licence, passport, older person’s bus pass and disabled parking blue badge.

Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm on 4th MayPolling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm on 4th May
Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm on 4th May
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Voter ID: what photo ID will I need to vote in local elections in Lancashire thi...

Those without any of the documents on the full government list will instead have to apply for a new voter authority certificate - but must do so by 5pm on 25th April, more than a week before polling day.

Applications can be made online at or by a voter requesting a paper form from the council area in which they live. You have to be already registered to vote in order to obtain the certificate - and the deadline for doing that has passed.

Previously, voters have just had to give staff their name in return for a ballot paper.

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During trials of voter ID in 2019, more than a third of people did not bother to return with the necessary documentation when they were refused a vote for arriving empty-handed or without an accepted document on their initial visit to the polling station.

Labour Party deputy leader Angela Raynor has said that voter impersonation is so rare in the UK that you are more likely to be hit by lightning 54 times than fall victim to it.

Tory former cabinet minister David Davis has called for the new ID system to be delayed until after the local elections, warning that it could prevent “even hundreds of thousands” of people from being able to vote.

The government said in December that 98 percent of electors already have an accepted form of identification, with a spokesperson adding: “We cannot be complacent when it comes to ensuring our democracy remains secure.”

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Two thirds of the near-600 allegations of voter fraud reported to the police in relation to every local and national poll held in the UK in 2019 were not investigated due to there being no – or at least a lack of – evidence, according to the Electoral Commission. Of the remainder, just four led to a conviction, while two individuals were given a police caution.