Time to apply for free voter ID ahead of the Somerton and Frome by-election is running out. The deadline is 5pm Wednesday 12 July.

For the first time at a Somerset Parliamentary by-election, voters will need to show photo ID to receive their ballot paper in polling stations. Those without an accepted type of ID can apply online for a Voter Authority Certificate, at www.gov.uk/apply-for-photo-id-voter-authority-certificate or by applying for and submitting a paper form to Somerset Council’s electoral services team on

Applicants must be registered to vote and will need to provide their date of birth, National Insurance number and a passport type photograph.

Those that have an accepted form of ID already do not need to apply. Accepted forms of ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; a UK or EEA drivers’ licence; and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass. Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.

The by-election in Somerton and Frome is taking place Thursday 20 July. Polling stations are open from 7am-10pm.

Duncan Sharkey, Returning Officer at Somerset Council, said: “As the deadline to apply for free ID fast approaches, it is really important that residents in Somerton and Frome constituency make sure they’re election ready and don’t lose out on the chance to vote.  If you need any help with applying for free ID or want to request an application form, do contact the council’s electoral services team.”

The team can be contacted on 0300 123 2224, 01749 341475 or 01749 341391.

Craig Westwood, Director of Communications, Policy and Research at the Electoral Commission said:  “Photo ID is now a requirement in order to vote at polling stations at the upcoming by-election. If you do not have accepted ID, you can still apply for a Voter Authority Certificate, which is a free form of identification.

“The availability of free ID helps ensure elections remain accessible to all eligible voters. But it is crucial that voters apply before the deadline so that they can take part in the by-election. That date is fast approaching so don’t delay.”

Voters also have the option to vote by proxy. The deadline to apply for a proxy vote is 5pm on Wednesday 12 July.

More information on the Somerton and Frome by election including a list of polling station locations can be found on our website – Somerton and Frome by-election (somerset.gov.uk)

Key dates:

  • Deadline for proxy applications – 5pm, 12 July 2023
  • Deadline for Voter Authority Certificate applications – 5pm, 12 July 2023
  • Polling Day – Thursday 20 July 2023
  •  Count of votes and declarations of result – 20-21 July 2023

Key links:

Graphic remding voters they need photo ID to vote in person at a polling station

About this article

July 6, 2023

Debbie Rundle

Press Release