Stroud District Council has announced a by-election in Painswick and Upton following councillor Jason Bullingham's resignation — and voters going to the polls are among the first in the country to require photo ID to cast their votes.
The by-election takes place on Wednesday 17 May 2023 and as well as being on the electoral roll, voters must also present a form of photo ID, such as a bus pass, photo driving license, passport, student PASS card or concessionary travel card, to get their ballot paper. It doesn't matter if the ID has expired, as long as they are still recognisable from the photo.
The government introduced the requirement for photo ID to be shown at polling stations from Thursday 4 May 2023, with those voting in the Painswick and Upton by-election also being the first in the Stroud district to experience the new rules.
If an elector doesn't have an accepted form of photo ID, they can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate either via an online form or by booking an appointment to complete their application and have their photo taken at the council's offices at Ebley Mill. Applications must be submitted by 5pm on Tuesday 9 May 2023 for the upcoming by-election.
Returning officer for Stroud District Council, Kathy O'Leary, said: 'With 5 weeks until polling day, make sure you're ready for the by-election on Wednesday 17 May 2023. Check that you've got an accepted form of photo ID and remember to bring it with you to the polling station on polling day.
'Taking part in local democracy is important and I would encourage all residents of the Painswick and Upton district ward to ensure they are registered to vote and that they have appropriate photo ID to be able to cast their vote. Residents who don't have photo ID will need to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate, postal or proxy vote as soon as possible so they don't miss out on their chance to vote.'
For more information, including which forms of ID are acceptable and how to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate, call Stroud District Council on (01453) 766321, or visit stroud.gov.uk.