In anticipation of the upcoming local and regional elections scheduled for Thursday 2 May, Leeds City Council has released crucial information and reminders for voters to keep in mind.

On Thursday 2 May, voting will occur for seats on Leeds City Council as well as for the regional Mayor of West Yorkshire. Voters are reminded that those wishing to cast their votes in person at a polling station on election day must present a valid form of Voter ID, following the system introduced during last year’s local elections.

Detailed guidance on acceptable forms of identification and the process for obtaining a new free Voter ID can be found on the Voter photo ID section of the Leeds City Council website. Similar to last year, assistance in completing the application form, including taking a photo, will be available at all community hubs and libraries in Leeds. The deadline for applying for a Voter Authority Certificate (free voter ID) is 5pm on Wednesday 24 April.

It’s important to note that the requirement for Voter ID only applies to those voting in person at a polling station or through a proxy in person; it does not impact those voting by post.

The initial step in the voting process is voter registration, with the deadline set for midnight on Tuesday 16 April. This includes individuals who have recently changed addresses and need to update their registration. Registration is a quick process, taking just five minutes, and can be completed online on the Register to vote section of the GOV.UK website.

Subsequently, voters must decide on their preferred voting method: in person, by post, or via a proxy vote.

For in-person voting, a valid form of Voter ID must be presented at the polling station.

Poll cards will be dispatched to all registered voters in Leeds starting from March 25. Residents are urged to verify the details on their poll cards upon receipt, including the location of their polling station, which may have changed.

Postal poll cards will also be sent to registered postal voters, followed by postal ballot packs distributed around 18 April. Individuals opting for postal voting can apply via the Leeds City Council website. The deadline for postal voting applications is 5pm on Tuesday 18 April, with a reminder for postal voters to return their completed ballots as early as possible to manage demand effectively.

Alternatively, voters can opt for a proxy vote, which can be applied for on the Leeds City Council elections webpage. The deadline for proxy voting applications is 5pm on Wednesday 17 April.

All voters are advised to carefully review the information provided to them, as several changes are being implemented for these elections, particularly concerning the submission of completed votes on behalf of others.

Elections Returning Officer and chief executive of Leeds City Council Tom Riordan said; “As we get ready to head into another pre-election period, it is important everyone who wishes to vote is registered to do so and has chosen their method of voting. There are some important changes this year voters will need to read the guidance when it arrives to be fully aware of, and also we wish to remind everyone wanting to vote in person on election day they will need to have an accepted form of ID with them to show at the polling station or they will be turned away.

“We encourage everyone who can vote to exercise their democratic right to do so and have their say.”

For more information on the changes in place for this year’s elections visit the Electoral Commission’s website at Home Page | Electoral Commission