Local Elections 2023: How to make sure you have your say on 4 May
On Thursday 4 May, residents will go to the polls to have their say on who represents them at a local level.
In Uttlesford, there will be elections to select councillors for all 39 seats on the District Council as well as in the town and parish councils where seats are contested (this means there are more candidates for the town or parish council than there are seats on it).
Here is a rundown of things you need to know before polling day:
The May elections will be the first time that voters will be required to show photographic identification at a polling station.
Valid forms of voter ID include a passport, driver's licence and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person's bus pass or an Oyster 60+ card. Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.
Electors who do not already have any form of accepted ID can apply for a free voter ID document - called a Voter Authority Certificate (VAC). Applications can be submitted via the government website, or by requesting a paper form from Uttlesford District Council. Anyone who needs help or does not have access to the internet, can attend the council offices in Saffron Walden where a member of staff will help them to complete the form.
The deadline to apply for a certificate before the May elections is 5pm, Tuesday 25 April.
The full list of accepted ID is available on the local elections pages on the District Council website, along with more information about the new requirement and details of how to apply for the Voter Authority Certificate. Visit www.uttlesford.gov.uk/local-elections-2023
Voters will not be required to provide photo ID if they vote by post.
Make sure you are registered to vote
In order to vote in these elections, residents must be on the electoral register. If you have recently turned 18 or have moved home, it is particularly important that you act to ensure that you are registered to vote.
- Residents who have not yet registered at their current address are urged to make sure they are registered in time. The deadline to register to vote is midnight, Monday 17 April. Anyone can apply online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote - it takes just five minutes. Alternatively, contact the Uttlesford Elections Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01799 510510 to request an application form.
- If you were registered to vote in the last election and your details have not changed, you will still be registered to vote in the local elections on 4 May. However, if in doubt, you can check your details by contacting the Elections Team.
- Your poll card will be sent to the address where you are registered. It will say where your polling station is. You can only vote at the polling station that is stated on your own poll card. Poll cards went out to all registered electors on Friday 24 March.
If you wish to apply for a postal vote, you will need to do so by 5pm, Tuesday 18 April.
Will you be away when your postal vote pack arrives? These are the dates when postal votes are being sent out:
- If your application is returned to us in time to include you on the postal voting list by 22 March (or if you are already a postal voter), please note your postal ballot packs will be posted to you by 1st class mail on or around 17 April
- If your application is returned to us after 30 March, please note your postal ballot packs will be sent out by 1st class mail on or around 24 April.The postal ballot packs should arrive a day or so after posting, so please bear in mind these anticipated dates if you will be away from home.
- If you do not have time or forget to post your postal pack before polling day, then you can take it to the polling station where you live on polling day itself and hand it in before 10pm. Your poll card tells you where your polling station is. Postal votes that arrive after 10pm on 4 May will not be counted.
Voting by proxy means you give permission for someone else to vote on your behalf.
If you wish to apply for a proxy vote, you will need to do so by 5pm, Tuesday 25 April.
- If you've appointed a proxy, then they need to make sure they are able to vote at the correct polling station on your behalf.
- If you are suddenly unable to vote in person, because you have a medical emergency which prevents you from attending on polling day, or your occupation, service or employment means that you cannot go to the polling station in person, and you only become aware of that fact after the deadline, then you may be entitled to appoint an 'emergency proxy'. Also from this year you can apply for an emergency proxy if your photo ID you intend to use (including a voter authority certificate) is lost, stolen or damaged beyond use.
- You can apply for an emergency proxy up until 5pm on polling day. You should contact the Elections Team to ask about this.
Stay up to date with the latest elections information, including timetable, via the website at www.uttlesford.gov.uk/local-elections-2023
You can also receive regular updates via email - subscribe at www.uttlesford.gov.uk/keep-me-posted
28 March 2023