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Remember Your Photo ID for the General Election

  • Figures show 115 people in Reading didn't vote in the recent elections as a result of not having acceptable Voter ID
  • Reading residents are reminded of boundary changes to Parliamentary constituencies which come into effect on July 4
  • Only a few days left to register to vote in the General Election

Residents are once again being urged to remember to bring photo ID with them when they visit their local polling station to vote on Thursday 4 July in the General Election, after local figures showed 115 residents in Reading missed out on casting a vote in May’s elections as a result of the ID requirement.

Figures on the impact of the Voter ID requirement in May’s Local and Police and Crime Commissioner elections showed 316 voters were turned away inside polling stations and not issued with a ballot paper after not having a form of identification deemed acceptable under the rules. Of those initially turned away, 201 people returned with suitable ID and were issued with a ballot paper and able to vote. However, 115 residents did not return and, as a result, did not cast a vote.

The Government’s Voter ID requirement will once again be in place on Thursday July 4. Accepted forms of ID include a passport; a 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, for those who applied for one. Voters will be able to use expired ID, as long as they are still recognisable from the photo. A full list of the ID which can be used is listed at the Electoral Commission website.  

When residents enter a polling station to collect their ballot paper on Thursday 4 July, they will be asked by polling station staff to present their photo ID so it can be checked. An area will be available so voters can opt to have their photo ID viewed in private if they prefer.

If a voter turns up at a polling station without an acceptable form ID, they will be asked to return home to find their acceptable photo ID before they can be issued with a ballot paper. A poll card alone does not entitle someone to vote.

The deadline for registering to vote in the General Election is 11.59pm on Tuesday 18 June and residents can do that online at . For more information on eligibility to vote go to Register to vote | Electoral Commission

Boundary Changes

Residents are also being are reminded that following a review of Parliamentary areas, boundaries in Reading have now changed. For the purposes of the General Election, Reading residents will now elect MP’s in:

  • Reading Central: encompassing Abbey, Battle (Most), Caversham, Caversham Heights, Coley, Emmer Green, Katesgrove, Norcot (small part), Park, Redlands (most), Southcote and Thames wards. Poll cards are issued by Reading Borough Council.  
  • Reading West and Mid Berkshire: includes Kentwood, Norcot and Tilehurst wards, as well as a number of areas which fall under West Berkshire Council. Poll card will be issued by West Berkshire Council.
  • Earley and Woodley: includes Church and Whitley wards. Poll cards will be issued by Wokingham Borough Council

Michael Graham, Acting Returning Officer at Reading Borough Council, said:

“This is now the second year of elections since the introduction of the Government’s Voter ID rules and, despite our best efforts of widely publicising the requirement locally, figures show 115 people did not return to vote at their local polling station after not bringing acceptable ID with them at the Local and the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in May. This is up on last year’s figure of 73. That is 115 people who could not to exercise their democratic right to vote.

 “With the General Election now around the corner, we are urging everyone who intends to vote at a polling station on 4 July to remember to bring their ID. Remember, election staff have no option but to turn away residents who do not have an acceptable form of photo ID with them, and where that is the case we of course will ask them to return with the right ID but we know some residents don’t always do that.”  

Postal and Proxy Votes

The alternative to voting in person 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 19 June. The deadline to apply for a proxy vote is one week later, 5pm on 26 June.

To apply please go to: or https://www,

New Rules on Postal Packs

People are asked to use a Royal Mail post box to return their completed postal pack.  Those who miss the post can hand in their postal pack, and/or the postal pack of others, at the Council Offices on Bridge Street during office hours but are asked to note that new legislation means they now need to fill in a form when doing so. Anyone who drops a pack off, or posts one through the Council letter box, without completing the necessary form will have the postal pack rejected. A member of Civic Centre staff can assist with filling in the necessary form.

As an alternative, residents can also drop off postal packs at their local polling station if they missed the final post. However, residents need to check that the postal vote is handed-in to the right constituency. A form for Reading Central can only be handed-in to a Reading Central constituency polling station, not to a Reading West and Mid-Berks or to a Earley and Woodley polling station.  Again, residents will be required to complete the necessary form with the Polling Station staff.

Changes to Local Polling Stations

Please note the following polling station changes for July 4:

  • Church Ward:  Scout and Guide Hut electors will vote at Tyndale Baptist Church,  2-4 Cressingham Road, RG2 7JE.
  • Whitley Ward: Whitley Wood Community Centre electors will vote at the new Whitley Wood Community Centre, 28-35 Lexington Grove, RG2 8UG.  
  • Abbey Ward:  Abbey Baptist Church, Abbey Square, RG1 3BE will replace Reading Central Library.

Residents who are unsure where their local polling station is can check at Find your polling station | Where Do I Vote?

All residents are also being advised to take a minute to check their poll card carefully to ensure their details and voting method are both correct.

For a full list of candidates and other useful election information visit UK Parliamentary Election – 4 July 2024 - Reading Borough Council