Changes to voting and elections

17 April 2023

Written by: Lambeth Council

News and announcements

Over the next two years, changes to the system for elections will include Voter ID and extra support for disabled voters.

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Changes to voting and elections

New measures will affect elections and the way people vote under legislation called the Elections Act 2022.

Voter ID

Lambeth voters will need to show photo ID when voting in person.

This will be from May 2023 for local elections and UK Parliamentary by-elections, and from October 2023 for UK Parliamentary elections. There are no scheduled elections in Lambeth until May 2024.

Acceptable forms of photo ID are:

  • PASSPORT issued by UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, EU/EEA state or Commonwealth country
  • UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or EU/EEA DRIVING LICENCE (including provisional licences)
  • ID card bearing Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS CARD)
  • Ministry of Defence Form 90 (DEFENCE IDENTITY CARD)
  • NATIONAL IDENTITY CARD issued by an EU/EEA state

Only original documents will be accepted.  Expired photo ID is permitted, provided the photograph still looks like you. The name on your ID must match your name on the electoral register.

If you don’t have photo ID, you can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate.

Accessibility at elections

Returning Officers will need to make it easier for disabled voters to vote independently.

  • Electors will be able to choose anyone aged over 18 to assist them with voting.
  • Extra equipment at polling stations will be available, such as large print sample ballot papers, magnifiers, additional seating and pencil grips.
  • Election staff will receive updated training.

 Postal and proxy voting

 From October 2023:

  • Voters will be able to apply for postal and proxy votes through a new online service.
  • Postal voters will need to make a new application every three years.
  • Proxy voters will only be able to be proxy for a maximum of two people.
  • The number of postal votes an individual can hand in at a polling station will be limited.
  • Political parties and campaigners will be banned from handling completed postal votes.

Overseas British Citizens

From January 2024 the 15-year registration limit for British citizens living abroad will be removed.  All British citizens living abroad who have previously lived in the UK will have the right to vote at UK Parliamentary elections.

Voting system for Mayoral elections  

Voting at mayoral elections will change from the ‘Supplementary Vote System’ to ‘First Past the Post’.  Voters will have one vote on their mayoral ballot paper, instead of the current first and second choice. This will be in place at the GLA elections in May 2024.

EU Citizens’ voting and candidacy rights

EU citizens (excluding Ireland, Cyprus and Malta) will no longer automatically be entitled to register to vote and stand for election.

Two groups of EU citizens will retain their rights:

  • EU citizens with ‘retained rights’ who were UK residents before 1 January 2021.
  • Qualifying EU citizens from countries with reciprocal voting agreements – Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

The changes will apply to local elections in England. EU citizens cannot vote or stand as candidates at UK Parliamentary elections.

These changes will not take effect until after the May 2024 GLA elections. Electoral Services will contact all Lambeth EU citizens when the changes are implemented.

Find out more

Find out more about the Elections Act at or phone our Helpline on 020 7926 2254.