Elections Act 2022
The UK Government has passed a law that will change the way you vote in Parliamentary and Police and Crime Commissioner Elections. This law is called the Elections Act 2022.
This law does not apply to Senedd, Wrexham County Borough Council and Community Council Elections. The legislation for these is set by Welsh Government.
Voting at polling stations
From May 2023, you will need to show an approved form of photo ID at polling stations when there is Parliamentary or Police and Crime Commissioner elections.
What photo ID you can use
You must show an approved form of photo ID, such as a passport or driver’s licence.
Only original documents are accepted. Scanned images or copies will not be accepted.
If your photo ID has expired, it will be accepted if the photograph is still a good likeness of you.
The most commonly used and accepted forms of ID include:
- Passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA status or a Commonwealth country.
- Photographic driver’s licence issued by the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state or a Commonwealth country
- European Economic Area (EEA) photographic ID card
- An identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (PASS card)
- A Blue Badge
- Older Person’s Bus Pass
- Disabled Person’s Bus Pass
- Oyster 60+ Card
If you are unsure whether the form of Photo ID you currently have is accepted, you can find more information on the accepted forms of ID on the GOV.UK website (external link).
Alternatively, you can contact our Electoral Services team for help.
What to do if you do not have an approved form of ID
If you do not have an approved form of ID, you will need to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate (VAC).
You can apply for a VAC by printing and filling in a paper form and sending it to our Electoral Services team. You can also email or call our Electoral Services team to request a paper copy of this form.
Once you receive your VAC, it will have no expiry date. However, it is advised that you renew your VAC in 10 years to ensure the photo remains a true likeliness of you.
The deadline to apply for a VAC will be 5pm, six working days before the election date.
The next scheduled election in Wrexham where you will need to show photo ID or a VAC to vote will be the Police and Crime Commissioner Election in May 2024.
Voting by post or proxy
If you choose to vote by post, you will not be affected and will be issued with your postal ballot papers as usual.
If you choose to vote by proxy, then the person who you have trusted to vote on your behalf will have to take their own photo ID. If they do not have photo ID, they will not be given the ballot paper.
Instead of going to your polling station you can apply to have a postal vote. Postal Votes are available to everyone and can be sent to any address, even abroad, but do bear in mind that your ballot paper must be returned to us before close of poll on the day of election.
If you are unable to go to the polling station on polling day you can apply to have a proxy vote: this is where you appoint somebody to vote for you. That person then goes along to your polling station and casts your vote.
The closing date for the receipt of your application form is six days before the day of election (excluding weekends and bank holidays). In certain circumstances, where you have an emergency that means you cannot go to the polling station in person, you can apply for an emergency proxy up to 5pm on the day of the poll.
Postal voting by proxy
If your proxy is going to be away from your home on election day, they you can apply for their proxy ballot paper to be posted to them.
The closing date for the receipt of your application form is six days before the day of election (excluding weekends and bank holidays).
Returning your application forms
You must return your postal/proxy application forms to the following address:
Electoral Services, Guildhall, Wrexham, LL11 1AY.
Changes to postal and proxy voting – please be aware
The changes detailed below are applicable for those electors who are considering applying to vote by post or considering appointing someone to vote on their behalf known as a proxy.
Changes you’ll see to postal voting
You will have the option to apply for a postal vote for Parliamentary and Police and Crime Commissioner elections only via a new central government online system. Electors applying for a postal vote for these two election types will require their identity to be verified with DWP records when applying online but also when applying via a paper application.
Your application for these two election types will cover you for a maximum period of three years. You will need to re-apply by the third 31 January after your application has been granted. A notice informing you of the need to reapply will be sent prior to this.at the end of that time.
At a Parliamentary or Police and Crime Commissioner election, there will also be a limit to how many postal votes an elector can hand in at any polling station or council building. You will be allowed to take your own, and up to five others.
At these two election types, political parties and campaigners will be banned from handling postal vote packs on behalf of electors unless they are handing in their own, a close relative or someone for whom they provide regular care or for whom regular care is provided by an organisation which employs or engages them.
For Senedd and Local Government elections only you will not be able to apply online for a postal vote but will have to complete a paper application. You can request one of these forms from your elections office or go online to download this form from the Electoral Commission website. No ID verification is required for these two election types.
Your application for these two election types can cover you for an indefinite period provided you continue to refresh your signature every five years. A request to refresh your signature will be sent to you by the elections office at the required time.
For electors who have a postal vote in place before 31 October 2023 - you do not need to do anything further. The elections office will contact you when you need to renew your postal votes for each election type.
When do the changes come into force?
- The process for a three yearly application process for postal voters who apply for Parliamentary and Police and Crime Commissioner Elections is expected to begin from October 2023. Electors who have an existing postal vote prior to the changes coming in, will not need to do anything until 31 Jan 2026, however the Elections Team will be in touch with you prior to this date regarding the transitional arrangements
- The rules regarding secrecy and who can handle postal votes for the above election types is expected to be in place for elections taking place on or after 2 May 2024.
- Online absent voting applications and having to apply separately for Senedd and local government elections is expected from October 2023.
Changes you will see to proxy voting
Since October 2023 the limit on how many people a voter can act as a proxy for when voting in Parliamentary and Police and Crime Commissioner elections has changed.
Voters are limited to acting as proxy in these elections for a maximum of four people regardless of their relationship, which includes:
- no more than 2 people living in the UK
- no more than 2 people registered as living overseas
For Senedd and Local Government elections there is no change to current rules i.e., you can be proxy for no more than two electors except where they are spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild of the elector.
If you already had a proxy arrangement in place before 31, October 2023 you will need to reapply.
Further changes to the electoral system
The UK government is making other changes to the UK electoral system too. They are all included in the Elections Act.
For more information on this act, you can visit the Electoral Commission website (external link).
If you need any help with your application, please contact us.
Phone: 01978 292020