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Only Two Weeks Left to Register to Vote

  • Only two weeks left to register to vote in this year's elections
  • Deadline is Tuesday 16 April 
  • Voter ID required again this year for residents who choose to vote in person at polling stations

RESIDENTS now have only a fortnight left to register to vote in May’s Local Borough and Police and Crime Commissioner elections in Reading.

Midnight on Tuesday 16 April is the deadline for people to ensure they are registered. Voters can apply online at It takes just five minutes.

There is now just one month to go until the Local Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in Reading. Polling day is Thursday 2 May. There will be one candidate to elect across all 16 wards in Reading this year, as well as selecting one candidate to elect in the Police and Crime Commissioner election.

Voter ID Required

Once again, voters who choose to vote in person at a polling station will need to show photo ID. Find out which ID can be used at the Electoral Commission website. Where a voter turns up at a polling station without acceptable photo ID, they will be asked to return home to find it before they can be issued with a ballot paper. A poll card alone does not entitle someone to vote.

Residents who do not have an accepted form of photo ID can apply online for a free Voter Authority Certificate – known as a VAC - at Alternatively, they can complete a paper application form and return it to Reading’s Electoral Services team.

If residents need any help with applying for a VAC, or want to request a paper application form, they can contact the Council’s Electoral Services team at or by calling 0118 937 3717. The deadline for applying for a VAC is 5pm on Wednesday 24 April 2024.

Help for Voters on Polling Day

On polling day itself (Thursday May 2), staff will be on hand as usual across Reading to help voters with any questions on filling out their ballot paper. There will also be a number of aids available to help people cast their vote, including large print sample ballot papers and tactile voting devices to help those with a visual impairment.

Postal or Proxy Vote Alternatives

The alternative to voting at a polling station, and having to show Voter ID, is to vote by post, or to appoint someone you trust to vote on your behalf, known as a proxy vote. The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on 17 April. The deadline to apply for a proxy vote is one week later, 5pm on 24 April.

To apply please go to:

New Rules This Year on Dropping Off Postal Packs in Person

People are asked to use a Royal Mail post box to return their completed postal pack.  For those who miss the post, they can hand in their postal pack and/or the postal pack of others at the Council Offices on Bridge Street during office hours. An authorised member of staff will assist residents in completing the required form. 

It is important to note that new legislation comes into effect on polling day (May 2) this year. Residents who drop off a postal pack, or have posted one through a council letter box, without completing the necessary form, will have the postal pack rejected.

For further information on postal vote handling, visit

Check Your Poll Card

Poll Cards were despatched from 22 March. Residents should take a minute to check their card carefully when it arrives to ensure their details and voting method are correct.

Important Changes to Local Polling Stations

Please note the following polling station changes for May 2024:

Church Ward:  Scout and Guide Hut electors will vote at Tyndale Baptist Church,  2-4 Cressingham Road, Reading, RG2 7JE.

Whitley Ward: Whitley Wood Community Centre electors will vote at the new Whitley Wood Community Centre, 28-35 Lexington Grove, Reading, RG2 8UG.  

Michael Graham, Electoral Registration Officer for Reading Borough Council, said:

“Don’t lose your chance to have your say at both elections in May. Local elections are an important opportunity to have your say on who represents you and makes decisions about issues that directly affect day-to-day life here in Reading. If you’re in doubt about whether you need to register to vote, or have questions about how to apply for a postal or proxy vote, or free ID, you can contact Reading Borough Council on 0118 937 3717 or”.

Residents can visit the FAQ page on the Council's website at to find out more about the elections on 2 May 2024. The page will be updated with new information as it becomes available. Residents with questions can also contact their local elections team at 

For information on candidates standing in the area for the Police and Crime Commissioner Election go to or call 0300 1311323.