Published on 20th March 2024

Graphic with blue post it note and text: 2nd May polling day! Bring photo id

The next scheduled elections to take place in Cheltenham will be borough council and Police and Crime Commissioner elections, which will be held on Thursday 2 May 2024.

All forty borough council seats will be up for election due to ward boundary changes.

When voting in person, residents in Cheltenham will need to show photo ID and are being urged to make sure they are ready to vote by checking they have an accepted form of ID. Electors are urged to check their poll cards when received as their polling station may have changed.

Accepted forms of ID include a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport or drivers’ licence; and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass. Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo. Only original documents are accepted. Scanned images, photocopies or pictures on a device such as a mobile phone will not be accepted.

Anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of ID can apply for free ID online at or by completing a paper form. The deadline for applications for free ID is 5pm on 24 April 2024.

The full list of accepted ID is available on the Electoral Commission’s website, along with more information about the new requirement and details of how to apply for the free ID, at

If you wish to vote by post, you can apply for a postal vote online or you can submit a paper application . The deadline to apply for a postal vote for the upcoming elections is 5pm on Wednesday 17 April.
Photo ID is not required if you have a postal vote. There are now limits to how many people you can hand in postal votes for. Where possible, please post your postal vote pack back to us in plenty of time ahead of polling day. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can bring your postal vote into reception at the Municipal Offices during office hours, but you will be required to sign a declaration before handing it in. An elector can hand in their own postal vote as well as postal votes for up to five other people.  This is now the law.

Jackie Killeen, director of electoral administration and guidance, said: “Anyone voting at a polling station will need to show photo ID before they can be given their ballot paper. It’s important that everyone understands what types of ID they can use, and how to apply for free ID if they need it. You can find information about the new requirement and what to expect at the polling station, on the Electoral Commission’s website.”

Paul Jones, returning officer at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “With elections taking place in Cheltenham on 2 May 2024, it is important that those who want to vote make sure they have an accepted form of ID. It may seem early but checking now means you will be ready to vote in May.

“Residents who do not have one of the accepted forms of ID can apply for free ID either online or by completing a paper application form and sending this to our electoral services team. If you need any help with applying for the free ID or want to request an application form, contact the electoral services team on 01242 264132, email [email protected].”

Anyone who wants to have their say in the elections this May must also be registered to vote. It only takes five minutes to register online at Voters wishing to apply to their council for free ID should first make sure they are registered to vote.

The requirement to show photo ID at the polling station was introduced by the UK Government’s Elections Act and came into effect for the first time in May 2023. 

For more information contact the council’s communications team on 01242 264231 or email [email protected]

Or contact the Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0704, out of office hours 07789 920 414 or [email protected].


  1. Borough and Police and Crime Commissioner elections are both taking place in Cheltenham in May 2024.
  2. Voters will need to show photo ID before voting in local council elections in England, parliamentary by-elections, police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales and UK parliamentary general elections. It is not a requirement at local elections in Scotland or Wales, or elections to Scottish Parliament or Senedd. The requirement already exists in Northern Ireland.
  3. To apply for the Voter Authority Certificate, voters will need to provide a photo, full name, date of birth, the address at which they are registered to vote and their National Insurance number.
  4. The UK Government’s Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities is responsible for the voter ID policy and for the free voter ID application system. Enquiries relating to the application system or the policy itself should be directed to the Department.
  5. The Electoral Commission is responsible for ensuring voters are aware of the voter ID requirement, and for supporting local authorities with the process. Questions related to the public awareness campaign should be directed to the Electoral Commission.
  6. Local authorities are responsible for implementing voter ID at the local level.