You will need to show photo ID now to vote in by-elections and Westminster parliamentary elections

Voter ID is a new regulation imposed on Scotland by Westminster, meaning all people who are voting in person for UK parliamentary elections will have to show an accepted form of ID to be able to vote.

This regulation was introduced through the passing of the Elections Act 2022, unsurprisingly by Boris Johnson’s appalling Westminster government, with minimal legitimacy and reasoning for introducing such a restrictive measure.

Voter ID will be implemented for the first time in Scotland during the upcoming by-election in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

Make sure you have accepted photo ID to take with you to vote

You’ll need to show photo ID when voting in person upon entering polling stations in the next General Election, expected to be in 2024, and in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election happening on the 5th of October.

There are many forms of ID which will be accepted, so make sure you are prepared and remember your photo ID to ensure you can cast your vote on election day.

To effectively cast your vote, here are examples of ID’s that will be accepted:

  • 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 (including an Irish Passport Card)
  • Driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state
  • A Blue Badge
  • Scottish National Entitlement Card issued for the purpose of concessionary travel (including a 60+, disabled or under 22s bus pass)
  • Older Person’s Bus Pass funded by the UK Government
  • Disabled Person’s Bus Pass funded by the UK Government
  • Oyster 60+ Card funded by the UK Government
  • Freedom Pass
  • 60 and Over Welsh Concessionary Travel Card
  • Disabled Person’s Welsh Concessionary Travel Card
  • Senior SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • Registered Blind SmartPass or Blind Person’s SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • War Disablement SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • 60+ SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • Half Fare SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • Identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card), for example a Young Scot card
  • Biometric immigration document
  • Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
  • National identity card issued by an EEA state
  • Electoral Identity Card issued in Northern Ireland
  • Voter Authority Certificate
  • Anonymous Elector’s Document

Rest assured, these tips will help you to prepare for Voter ID

  • The name on your photo ID must match your name on the electoral register and if it doesn’t, you’ll need to either register to vote again or take a document with you to vote proving that you’ve changed your name, for example, a marriage certificate.
  • You will only need to show one form of photo ID and it needs to be the original version, not a photocopy.
  • If you’re voting on behalf of someone, you will need to show your photo ID and not theirs.
  • If you don’t have photo ID you can register to vote by post or apply for free to get your Voter Authority Certificate.

What can you do if you don’t have an accepted form of Voter ID?

Voting is everyone’s democratic right, a right that should be accessible and a journey of ease.

If you do not have an accepted photo ID from the list above or have concern over your name not matching your photo ID card then rest assured because there are options for you to ensure you can vote effectively.

One way to mitigate Westminster’s Voter ID regulation is to vote by post, voting by post means that you can vote without having to show any photo ID.

Registering to vote by post involves filling out this form and sending it your local Electoral Registration Office, you can even hand it in yourself or ask someone you trust to return it for you to your polling station on election day.

What is a Voter Authority Certificate and how can you apply for one?

You can use a Voter Authority Certificate if you do not have an accepted photo ID for voting and would like to vote in person rather than by post.

You can apply for free to get your Voter Authority Certificate if you do not have accepted photo ID, you no longer look like your photo on your ID or the name on your photo ID doesn’t match your name on the electoral register.

A Voter Authority Certificate is something that you can’t use as ID for any other reason than to vote.

Why has Westminster implemented Voter ID?

The Tories reasoning for introducing the regulation falls to electoral fraud despite that there is extremely low levels of electoral fraud. In 2019, there were only 33 allegations of impersonation at the polling station, out of over 58 million votes cast. That is less than 0.00001% of the electorate.

Voter ID has applied in recent council elections in England and has proven a barrier to democracy for many. The Electoral Commission reported that Voter ID resulted in 14,000 people being turned away from polling stations and that specifically Voter ID is restricting older people, people with disabilities, people who are unemployed and people from ethnic minorities the most.

Voter ID is a poor excuse for proposing an uncalled for remedy when there isn’t even an issue in the first place.

“The true number of those not voting in local elections due to ID requirements could have been at least 400,000.”  – The Electoral Commission

It is crucial that all communities across Scotland are aware of the Voter ID regulation and it is important that you take the necessary steps to prepare, ensuring that you can vote in the next General Election or the By-election in Rutherglen and Hamilton West on the 5th of October 2023.

Applying for a Voter Authority Certificate is a way to get free photo ID, the deadline to apply for one to use for the Rutherglen and Hamilton West is 5pm today.

Voting by post is a secure and convenient way to vote for many people and it is a way to vote without having to show photo ID.

Nobody should be denied their right to vote, so let’s share Voter ID awareness across communities, with your friends, family and neighbours to make sure that nobody falls short of not having accepted photo ID on the day.

Make your vote count by remembering to take your photo ID to the polling station.