Don’t forget to bring photo ID to the polling station on Monday

St Mary’s residents are being urged to remember their photo ID when they go to vote in the by-election on Monday 22 May.

Voters will need to show photo ID at the polling station in the Old Wesleyan Chapel before they can receive their ballot paper. This is a new requirement introduced by the UK Government that is coming into effect on Scilly for the first time.

Accepted forms of ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport; a UK or EEA drivers’ licence; some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass or an Oyster 60+ card; and the new free Voter Authority Certificate. Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.

At the polling station, voters will be required to present ID and for it to be checked by polling station staff. A private area will be available so a voter can choose to have their photo ID viewed in private if they like. Anyone that would like further information about what to expect at a polling station should contact the local authority.

Craig Westwood, Director of Communications, at the Electoral Commission, said: “Anyone voting at a polling station in England will need to show photo ID before they can be given their ballot paper. Before you head to the polling station, don’t forget to check your bag, wallet, or pocket to make sure you have the ID you need to vote. If a voter has concerns about showing their face at a polling station, because they wear a face covering for example, they can ask to have their ID checked in private. They won’t need to give a reason for their request or explain why they’d prefer privacy. Staff will be trained to handle requests for ID to be checked in private, discreetly and with courtesy.”

The full list of accepted ID, along with more information about the new requirement, is available on the Electoral Commission’s website.

Paul Masters, Returning Officer at the Council of the Isles of Scilly, said: “With only five days to go, make sure you’re ready for the by-election on Monday 22 May. Check that you’ve got an accepted form of ID and remember to bring it with you when you go to the polling station. If you need any help, you can contact the Elections Office at or on 01720 424543.”

If voters lose their ID (or their Voter Authority Certificate does not arrive in time despite having been applied for before the deadline on Friday 12 May), they can appoint an emergency proxy to vote on their behalf up until 5pm on polling day. The person appointed as proxy, voting on someone else’s behalf, must have their own acceptable photo ID.


Notes to editors

  • A by-election is taking place on St Mary’s on Monday 22 May 2023 to fill a vacancy on the Council of the Isles of Scilly.
  • The requirement to show photo ID at the polling station is a new requirement, introduced by the UK Government’s Elections Act which was passed last year.
  • The legislation requires voters at polling stations to show an accepted form of photo ID before they receive their ballot paper. From May, voters will need to show photo ID before voting in local council elections in England, UK parliamentary by-elections, and police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales. From October 2023, photo ID will be needed at UK parliamentary general elections. It will not be a requirement at local elections in Scotland or Wales, or elections to Scottish Parliament or Senedd. The requirement already exists in Northern Ireland.


Publishing date: 
Wednesday, 10 May, 2023