RESIDENTS at the York Road Project, a local charity supporting people experiencing homelessness, have signed up for the free Voter Authority Certificate to ensure they have a voice at the upcoming local elections.

Woking Council’s elections team visited the York Road Project’s day centre on Goldsworth Road to explain how to apply to vote and assisted interested residents with their applications.

“I’m delighted that our clients signed up to vote and applied for a free Voter Authority Certificate,” said Natasha Chubb, the day centre team leader. “Voting can often be a difficult process for them due to a lack of identification credentials and a fixed or permanent address.

“It was extremely helpful that council officers came down and supported our clients in this process, making sure no one missed out on the opportunity to have their say in next month’s local elections.”

Local elections taking place on May 4 will be the first where voters need photo ID in order to cast their ballot.

The new rules, which will also apply to general elections from October 2023, mean ID will be needed in England to vote in local elections, for Police and Crime Commissioner elections and in parliamentary by-elections.

Forms of ID accepted at polling stations will include a driving licence, passport, Blue Badge, Oyster 60+ Card, Older Person’s Bus Pass and more. Equivalent travel cards for young people, such as the Oyster 18+ card, will not be accepted forms of ID.

As long as the photo still looks like you, the photo ID does not need to be in date. The accepted types of photo ID can be viewed on the Electoral Commission's website.

Julie Fisher, electoral registration officer for Woking Borough Council, said: “Local elections are an important opportunity to ensure everyone’s voice is heard and have a say on who makes decisions about issues that directly affect day-to-day life here in Woking borough. “If you have recently turned 18 or moved home, it is particularly important to make sure you are correctly registered to vote. If you’re in doubt, you can check with our elections team.”

Residents without the accepted types of ID can apply online for a free Voter Authority Certificate on the government’s website (GOV.UK), or by completing and submitting a paper form available from Woking Borough Council’s elections team. Applications must be received by 5pm on Tuesday 25 April, to be able to use the Voter Authority Certificate on 4 May.

Once registered, 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 Tuesday 18 April. The deadline to apply for a proxy vote is a week later, 5pm on Tuesday 25 April. 

For full details about the Woking borough elections and different ways to vote, visit For further support, please contact the Council’s Elections Team, phone 01483 755 855 or email [email protected]