Starting Monday, the Electoral Commission will launch a public awareness campaign encouraging voters in England to make sure they are prepared for changes to the voting process, including a new requirement to show photographic ID at polling stations.

The campaign, which will feature TV, radio, and social media ads as well as billboards and bus advertisements, aims to remind voters to bring appropriate ID to the polls.

Accepted forms of ID include UK, European Economic Area, or Commonwealth passports and driver's licenses, as well as certain concessionary travel passes. Free ID, called the Voter Authority Certificate, will also be available for those who do not have an accepted form of identification.

The requirement to show photo ID at polling stations will be implemented in May for local council elections in England, parliamentary by-elections, and police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales, and will be extended to UK parliamentary general elections in October 2023.

Craig Westwood, director of communications at the Electoral Commission, said: “May’s elections may seem a distant thought, but it is worth voters taking note of the changes now, and checking they have appropriate ID. That way, when polling day arrives, all they have to do is remember to bring it.

“Those who don’t have an accepted form of ID will shortly be able to apply for free ID. We are working closely with local authorities and civil society organisations to support those less likely to have ID, so that nobody misses the opportunity to have their say.

“Our campaign aims to build awareness of the change amongst voters and remind them to bring ID on polling day. Those seeking more information on accepted forms of ID and the free ID should visit the Commission’s website for more information.”

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