Voters urged to check they are election ready - before it's too late

With only days to go until the voter registration deadline for council elections on 4 May, anyone wanting to vote must make sure they are election ready.  The deadline to register to vote is midnight on 17 April. Voters can apply online at gov.uk/register-to-vote. It takes just five minutes.

Polling cards will be landing on people’s mats via the post in the next few days.  This informs voters of the date of the 4 May elections and where their polling station is located.  Voters have a range of options – they can vote in person, by post or by appointing someone they trust to vote in their place, known as a proxy vote. The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on 18 April. The deadline to apply for a proxy vote is a week later, 5pm on 25 April.

This May, for the first time, voters will need to show photo ID to vote at a polling station. This is a new requirement, introduced by the UK government’s Elections Act. To find out which ID you can use in the polling station, visit the Electoral Commission website.  If you do not have one of the accepted types of ID, you can apply for free ID at gov.uk/apply-for-photo-id-voter-authority-certificate or by completing and submitting a paper form to Cheshire East Council. You must apply by 5pm on 25 April, to be able to use the Voter Authority Certificate on 4 May.

Dr Lorraine O’Donnell, Returning Officer for Cheshire East Council, said: “Don’t lose your chance to have your say at elections in May. Local elections are an important opportunity to have your say on who represents you and makes decisions about issues that directly affect day-to-day life here in Cheshire East.  “If you’re in doubt about whether you need to register to vote or have questions about how to apply for a postal or proxy vote, or free ID, you can call our elections team on 0300 123 5016.”

Craig Westwood, Electoral Commission director of communications, said: “It is important that people check they’re election ready ahead of upcoming deadlines. All voters must be registered, and some may need to apply for a postal or proxy vote or free ID.  “At elections in May, for the first time, voters will need to show photo ID at polling stations. Anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of photo ID can apply for free ID online or by completing a paper form and submitting it to their local council.”

Information about the new requirement and all your voting options can be found on the Electoral Commission’s website.