Ballot boxes at Applemore Recreation Centre

New Forest District Council (NFDC) is reminding all eligible voters to ensure they have the necessary photo identification to be able to vote at a polling station in the upcoming General Election on Thursday 4 July 2024.

The council, responsible for running the General Election for the New Forest East and New Forest West constituencies, is also urging postal voters to return their vote in the correct way or risk it being rejected.

Voter ID is now a legal requirement for casting a vote in person, and voters will not be permitted to vote at a polling station without it.

There are over 20 types of valid ID including passports, driving licences (including provisional), Older or Disabled Person’s bus passes, and Oyster 60+ cards.

The full list is on the council’s website.

People without any of the acceptable forms of ID, can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate to use in the General Election, before the deadline of 5pm on 26 June.

In addition to the voter ID requirements, there have been changes to the national regulations for returning postal votes, including that postal votes put into letterboxes at council offices must be rejected, and the vote will not be counted.

NFDC advises the easiest way to ensure a postal vote is counted, is to return it using Royal Mail.

This can be by putting it into a post box, handing it in at a post office, or getting it collected by the Royal Mail collection service.

There is also a limit on how many postal votes can be handed in of 5, in addition to a voter’s own.

Postal votes can be returned to NFDC information offices during opening hours if a required form provided by the office is also completed with a member of staff.

Postal votes can also be handed in at designated polling stations on polling day (7 am to 10pm Thursday 4 July), and the staff there will be authorised to complete the form required with the person handing them in.

For more information about taking part in the General Election, please visit the New Forest District Council website and follow the home page link.

Key dates for the General Election (UK Parliamentary) on Thursday 4 July:

  • Registering to vote deadline is Tuesday 18 June
  • Applying for a postal vote deadline is Wednesday 19 June, 5pm
  • Voter Authority Certificate application deadline is Wednesday 26 June, 5pm
  • Applying to vote by proxy deadline is Wednesday 26 June, 5pm
  • Emergency proxy deadline is Thursday 4 July, 5pm