London elections: Thousands of people could be turned away at polling stations this May

By Staff

Voters will need to bring extra documentation with them to their polling station on May 2 as they seek to cast their ballot. A form of photo ID to prove your identity needs to be shown.

This means that some Londoners may be turned away if they do not make the appropriate preparations. Data collected by the Electoral Commission (EC) in polling stations during the last round of local elections in 2023 showed that at least 0.25 per cent of people who tried to vote across the country were not issued with a ballot paper because of the ID requirement.

This means approximately 14,000 voters were reportedly not issued with a ballot paper because they could not show an accepted form of identification. But, it was noted that this was an ‘underestimate’, partly as a result of ‘data quality issues’ but also because some people would have been ‘reminded of the ID requirement before they could be recorded in the data’.

READ MORE: Huge £700m ‘black hole’ in London housing budget as Sadiq Khan promises 40k new homes

The turnout for London’s last local elections when the capital’s mayor and London Assembly members were elected was 42 per cent, according to London Elects. There were 2,589,268 votes cast for Assembly Members and 2,531,357 first choice ballots for the mayor.

According to the Greater London Authority, there were 2,288,225 total electors in Inner London and 3,710,190 in Outer London as of December 1, 2022.

Labour’s City Hall incumbent, Sadiq Khan, has expressed concern about the voter ID rule. His team claims that more than 900,000 could be turned away from ballot box as a result.

Mr Khan said on Friday (March 15): “I’m under no illusion, I could lose in May. With the Tory Government introducing new voter ID laws as well as the new voting system, it’s likely to be the closest contest we’ve ever seen since the London Mayoralty was established.”

Acceptable forms of ID

Below is a full list of acceptable forms of ID, according to the Electoral Commission.

International travel

  • 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 (including an Irish Passport Card)

Driving and Parking

  • 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

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Local travel

  • Older Person’s Bus Pass funded by the UK Government
  • Disabled Person’s Bus Pass funded by the UK Government
  • Oyster 60+ Card funded by the funded by the UK Government
  • Freedom Pass
  • Scottish National Entitlement Card issued for the purpose of concessionary travel (including a 60+, disabled or under 22s bus pass)
  • 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

Proof of age

  • Identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)

Other government issued documents

List of candidates

As well as Mr Khan, there are 10 other candidates for the London mayoral election.

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