Published Friday 19 January 2024 at 8:38
It’s always best to be prepared! Check you’re on the electoral register to be able to vote in the elections taking place in May.
In Blackburn with Darwen, the following elections will take place on Thursday 2 May:
- Blackburn with Darwen Council – one third of seats
- Darwen Town Council – for Darwen residents only
- Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner.
There is also a strong possibility of a general election this year – it must happen before 28 January 2025, and the Prime Minister has indicated it could be in the second half of 2024.
It’s quick and easy to register to vote at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
There’s lots more information about registering to vote at www.blackburn.gov.uk/elections-and-voting/register-vote.
If you’re unsure if you’re already registered, you can find out by contacting the Council’s Elections team:
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call 01254 585920
Denise Park, Chief Executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council and Returning Officer for elections in the borough, said:
While May feels like a long way off, there are things you can do now to get ready for this year’s elections.
If you aren’t sure whether you’re already registered to vote, check now. Being on the electoral register means you can have your say in local and national elections, and it also helps with things like credit checks.
For people who usually vote by post and proxy, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the changes now – again to be ready to use your vote in May’s elections.
And, following the introduction of voter ID for the first time last May, everyone who votes at a polling station will need to show an accepted form of photographic ID. It’s a good idea to check now if you have one of these accepted forms, and take action if you don’t.
If you can’t get to your polling station to vote in person on 2 May, there are other ways to use your vote.
The way voters can apply for postal votes has changed – you can now apply online at www.gov.uk/apply-postal-vote.
However, postal vote applications will still be accepted via a new paper form, for anyone who prefers this method.
New postal vote applications will be valid for a maximum of three years.
Anyone who is currently registered to vote by post will be able to use a postal vote in elections in May 2024.
Additional changes to voting by post from May 2024 restrict who is legally permitted to handle postal votes. It will limit the number of postal votes that any one person can hand in at polling station to their own postal vote plus a maximum of five, and anyone handing in postal votes will have to complete a declaration form.
Political campaigners will not be allowed to handle postal packs from anyone outside their immediate family.
Changes have also been made to appointing someone who can vote on your behalf at a polling station – known as a proxy vote. One person can act as a proxy for no more than four voters.
Photographic ID was required at polling stations for the first time in May 2023. Research from the Electoral Commission shows that around 90% of UK adults have at least one of the accepted forms of photo ID:
- 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
- photographic driver’s licence issued by the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (including provisional)
- European Economic Area (EEA) photographic ID Card
- biometric immigration document
- an identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (PASS card)
- Blue Badge
- Oyster 60+ Card
- a concessionary travel pass funded by HM Government or local authority
- Disabled Person’s Bus Pass.
You will be able to use ID that has expired as long the photograph still looks like you, to prove your identity.
You can find lots more information about elections and voting in Blackburn with Darwen on the elections pages of the Council website.