Over Christmas Lord Roger Roberts asked several questions on the theme of what we need to do to vote, given the decision from the Government for us to have a visual identification. He sent over 4 questions which were responded on 21st December and he then sent over another question that was responded on 29th December. All of the questions were responded by Baroness Jane Scott who is the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities). The first 4 questions and one answer can be obtained from here and the fifth question and the answer is available here. The fifth question was focused on the people who are voting from their postal vote locations. Here is the response from Jane Scott following the first 4 questions from Roger Roberts on 21st December.
The voter identification measures set out in the Elections Act 2022 will come into effect for the scheduled election in May 23 for all types of poll set out in the Act, except for UK Parliamentary general elections, which will require voter identification from October 2023.
A wide range of identification documents will be accepted at polling stations and will not be limited to only passports and driving licenses. A full list of acceptable identification can be found here. Cabinet Office research shows that 98% of electors already own a photographic document (in date or expired) that could be accepted under our proposals. Moreover, any registered elector who does not possess any of these forms of identification will be able to apply to their local authority to obtain a Voter Authority Certificate, free of charge. An equivalent will also be available for electors registered to vote anonymously. This will ensure that everyone who is eligible to vote will continue to have the opportunity to do so.
We will continue to work with local authorities, charities and civil society organisations to ensure that voter identification works for everybody. The Electoral Commission will also deliver a comprehensive and targeted communications campaign to raise awareness for the changes to the requirements at the polling station.
The estimated cost of additional poll clerks can be found in the published Impact Assessment here.
If an elector applying for a free Voter Authority Certificate or Anonymous Elector’s Document is not able to provide a photograph themselves, their Electoral Registration Officer will be able to take a photograph for them. Funding will be provided to local authorities to purchase cameras if required.