Voters to head to the polls for city and parish council elections

Library image of someone voting in an election

Voters will head to the polls on Thursday 4 May to elect their Canterbury City Council councillors.

Yesterday (Thursday), the Notice of Election for all 39 seats on the council was published alongside the Notice of Election for seats on the district’s parish councils.

Polling cards are on their way to people’s homes and nomination papers for those wishing to stand for election are now available from the council’s Electoral Services team. The deadline for nominations is 4pm on Tuesday 4 April.

As well as needing to register, the government has decided if you want to vote at the polling station in these elections, you will also need to show an approved form of photo ID before you can be issued with a ballot paper.

Without an approved photo ID, you will not be able to vote at the polling station at that time. You can return with the appropriate ID later.

Canterbury City Council’s Returning Officer, Tricia Marshall, said: “This is the biggest change to voting in our district for many, many years.

“This time around, as well as registering to vote, which has always been incredibly important, residents will need to show an acceptable form of photo ID.

“We do not want to have to turn anyone away from the polling station, so it is essential that residents check these new rules and make sure they either already have an acceptable form of ID, or take action as soon as possible to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate.

“These are important local elections for the district and we want to ensure everyone can have their say on who is elected to the city council and parish councils for the next four years.”

Acceptable forms of photo ID include a driving licence with photo, passport, older persons and disabled persons concessionary bus pass, Blue Badge and any PASS-accredited forms of photo ID.

See the full list of what is an acceptable form of photo ID.

An important point to note is that student passes at Canterbury’s universities are not PASS-accredited.

Photo ID can be expired, such as an out of date passport, but there must be a likeness, and if there has been a change of name, you will need to provide evidence of this. It must also be an original document, not a copy.

If you do not have any of the approved photo ID as set out in the link above, you can now apply online for a free Voter Authority Certificate. You can also complete a paper application form.

You will need to provide your name, address, date of birth, National Insurance number and a photo. You must also be on the electoral register. 

The deadline to apply is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April, but we would encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

If you are not currently registered to vote, you can register to vote here

If you do not know if you are registered, you can check by emailing or call 01227 862 007.

If you cast a proxy vote on behalf of someone else at the polling station, you will need to have your own photo ID. Find out more about proxy voting.

The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Monday 17 April.

The deadline for new applications to vote by post or to cancel or amend an existing postal or proxy vote is by 5pm on Tuesday 18 April.

The deadline for new applications to vote by proxy is by 5pm on Tuesday 25 April.

The deadline for applications to vote by emergency proxy is by 5pm on Thursday 4 May.

For more information, visit our website, email or call 01227 862007.

Published: 17 March 2023

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