Older people in the district are being encouraged to start thinking now about voting in the local elections this May.

This year, for the first time, residents will need to show identification when casting their votes. This can include passports, driving licenses, disabled badges and bus passes.

But it is widely recognised many pensioners, especially those over the age of 85 or housebound will not have the necessary documents.

There are three easy ways to ensure anyone who doesn’t have an acceptable form of ID can vote on Thursday 4 May.

  1. Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate
    A Voter Authority Certificate can be used instead of Voter ID and can be applied for online.  Or you can download and print the form on East Cambridgeshire District Council’s website and post it to us. You will need to provide a colour photograph. Alternatively, if you need help filling it in, please call the electoral services department at the Council on 01353 665555.
    You will need to do this before 25 April.

    2) Register for a postal vote
    Applicants need to fill in a postal application form and must provide their date of birth and signature. If they have difficulty providing a signature they can apply for a ‘waiver’.  This means they will not need to provide a signature when using their postal vote.  Please apply using the ‘Waiver’ form. Applicants can apply for a permanent or long-term postal vote or just for a specific election. Post the completed form back to us at East Cambridgeshire District Council, The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4EE. You will need to do this before 18 April.

    3) Register for a proxy vote
    Voters who want someone to vote on their behalf can apply for a proxy vote. They need a valid reason to apply, for example if they are ill or away from home on election day. To apply please use the ‘Proxy Vote Application’ form. Post the completed form back to us at East Cambridgeshire District Council, The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4EE and we will amend the applicant’s details on our Electoral Register. A proxy may also vote by post. You will need to do this before 25 April.

John Hill, Electoral Registration Officer at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Your vote is your voice when it comes to having your say on lots of important local matters.

“At East Cambridgeshire District Council who you vote in can have an impact on lots of important factors such as how much Council Tax you pay and what investment is made in local services, such as community transport and Warm Hubs. We also help to raise the profile of schemes that are important to people in East Cambridgeshire, such as making sure there is enough public transport, providing help with the cost of living and making sure our market towns get the investment they need.

“If you are having difficulties sorting out your vote yourself then we are here to help. Just give our council offices a call on 01353 665555.”