Last week’s meeting of the Renfrewshire Valuation Joint Board a report provided an update on the electoral registration, noting that the 2023 canvass started on 1st July 2023 and will continue until the completed register on 1st December.
All potential voters will be contacted by mail, email and potentially by a visit to ensure everyone who wants to vote retains that right.
It is expected that up to 24,000 visits could be made to chase up those who have failed to return their voter registration details.
However, it’s also worth noting that the expected UK General Election – which could take place anytime between now and January 2025 requires all voters to have valid Voter Identification.
Normally a valid driving licence (with photograph) or passport could be used as well as some other official forms of identification, but for those that don’t have such information to hand it is possible to apply to the Renfrewshire Valuation Joint Board for a Voter Authority Certificate.
Councillor Kenny MacLaren said: “With the ongoing work to produce the new electoral register for 1st December 2023, it’s important to make sure you keep your right to vote.
“The idea of Voter ID was brought in by the UK Tory party who exaggerated the fear of voter fraud – which is practically non-existent – and will no doubt have an impact on those who don’t either have the required Voter ID or don’t realise they need such ID or a Voter Authority Certificate.
“At least in Scotland we only have to put up with this farce for UK General Elections, but in England there have been reports of voters being turned away at other elections simply because they didn’t have the necessary voter ID.”
Councillor Bruce MacFarlane said: “It’s important that people know about the need for voter ID for the next UK general election. Instead of making it easier for people to vote, the Tories have brought in legislation that penalises those without passports or driving licenses.
“I would encourage everyone to make sure they are aware of the relevant ID that can be accepted or takes the time to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate.”
Accepted forms of photo ID can be found at the following site: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/voter-id/accepted-forms-photo-id