Elections 2023 - frequently asked questions

Elections 2023 - frequently asked questions

How can I vote at the May 2023 elections?

There are a number of ways to have your say in the District and Parish Elections on 4 May 2023.

You can vote:

  • in person at your polling station
  • by post
  • by appointing as proxy someone you trust to vote on your behalf

To vote in the elections you must be registered to vote. If you have not changed address recently then you are probably already registered. However, if you have changed address recently then you may need to register. This can be done online in just 5 minutes at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or you can download the relevant forms.

You must be registered to vote before midnight on Monday 17 April 2023 to be able to vote on Thursday 4 May 2023.

How can I apply to vote by post?

To apply to vote by post you need to download, print and fill in a postal vote application form. Once you have completed the form and signed it, you need to send it to:

The Electoral Services Team, Elizabeth House, Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6HX

Alternatively, you can email it to elections@stratford-dc.gov.uk before 5pm on Tuesday 18 April 2023.

If you're thinking about voting by post, you can apply to do this now. This will make sure your application is processed early, and your postal vote can be sent to you more quickly once the candidates for the elections are confirmed.

Is voting by post safe?

Yes, voting by post is safe and proven cases of electoral fraud are very rare. When voting by post, you should mark your vote on the ballot paper in secret and seal the envelope yourself.

You will also be asked to give your date of birth and signature when applying for a postal or proxy vote. This makes postal voting safe, because when you return your postal voting pack your signature and date of birth are checked against those you provided previously to confirm your identity.

Your signature and date of birth are separated from your ballot paper before it is looked at or counted, so giving this information will not affect the secrecy of your vote.

How can I apply to vote by proxy?

If you are not able to cast your vote in person, you can ask someone you trust to cast your vote for you. This is called a proxy vote and the person casting your vote is often referred to as your proxy. The person voting on your behalf can either go to your polling station to cast your vote or can apply to vote for you by post.

To apply for a proxy vote, complete the form to vote by proxy, explaining why you can't get to your polling station in person and send it to:

The Electoral Services Team, Elizabeth House, Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6HX

Alternatively, you can email it to elections@stratford-dc.gov.uk before 5pm on Tuesday 25 April 2023.

Will I need to bring my own pen or pencil?

We will provide a pencil for you to mark your ballot paper, but you are always welcome to use your own pen or pencil.

I hear that Photo ID for electors is being introduced for the May 2023 Elections?

From 4 May 2023 onwards, the Elections Act 2022 requires voters to show photographic identification at polling stations before they are given a ballot paper. As secondary legislation is currently going through Parliament, the details of how the system will operate are not yet known.

However, there will be an official list of accepted forms of photographic identification which will be made available in due course. If you do not have any photo ID, you will be able to apply for Voter Authority Certificate - a free photographic identification document specific for the purposes of voting.

Applications for Voter Authority Certificates are not yet open; a public communications campaign will be run once the application service is live and details will be published here. This process is likely to commence in January 2023.

If your photographic identification document has expired, it may still be accepted as long as the photograph is still a good likeness of you. As an elector, if you feel that you might not have any photo ID and do not wish to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate, you can always apply for a postal vote.

Contact: The Democratic Services team

Last updated on 10/11/2022