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How to make your voice heard in the next election

BY BEO | 08/03/2023

Your voice is your vote – in order to dismantle systemic racism, we need to participate in democracy and elect the people who will represent us in Government.

In 2022, 28% of Black voters in Great Britain were not registered to vote. That’s a quarter of the Black population not having their voice heard. Furthermore, close to 2 million potential voters do not possess adequate photo ID to vote in the next election. This could mean 2 million voices remaining unheard.

So how do I vote in the next election?


1. Check you are eligible to register to vote

To register to vote you have to be:

  • Aged 16 or over in England, or 14 or over in Scotland and Wales
  • A British citizen OR
    • an Irish or EU citizen living in the UK
    • a Commonwealth citizen who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need permission
    • a citizen of another country living in Scotland or Wales who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need permission

You can also check which elections you are eligible to vote in.

You can vote when you are aged 18 or over, or 16 and over in certain elections in Scotland and Wales.

You only need to register once – unless you’ve changed your name, address or nationality.


Register to vote here

(link will take you through to the official Government website)


2. Once you’ve registered to vote, check your photo ID is valid to vote in the next election

From May 2023, voters in England will need to show photo ID to vote in some elections. Accepted forms of ID are:

  • Passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or a Commonwealth country
  • Driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (this includes a provisional driving licence)
  • A Blue Badge
  • Older Person’s Bus Pass
  • Disabled Person’s Bus Pass
  • Oyster 60+ Card
  • Freedom Pass
  • Scottish National Entitlement Card
  • 60 and Over Welsh Concessionary Travel Card
  • Disabled Person’s Welsh Concessionary Travel Card
  • Senior SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • Registered Blind SmartPass or Blind Person’s SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • War Disablement SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • 60+ SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • Half Fare SmartPass issued in Northern Ireland
  • Biometric immigration document
  • Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
  • National identity card issued by an EEA state
  • Electoral Identity Card issued in Northern Ireland
  • Anonymous Elector’s Document
  • Identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)

You need to bring the original form of ID with you, photocopies will not be accepted.

If you don’t have any of the accepted forms of ID, you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate online. This should arrive within a month so allow enough time to apply for one.


Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate


3. Turn out to vote

Now you’ve registered to vote and checked you have the correct photo ID, you are able to vote in the next election. It is worth noting that you don’t need photo ID to vote by post.

You can vote in person at your local polling station, apply to vote by post or apply to vote by proxy – this is when you ask a trusted person to vote on your behalf.

However, you choose to vote, ensure your voice is heard in the next election.