Voters urged to being photo ID for mayoral election

Voters are being urged to ensure that they bring photo identification in next month’s mayoral election for York and North Yorkshire following a national crackdown to tackle electoral fraud.

The Government introduced the requirement from May last year for voters to bring a form of photo ID to polling stations to prove their identity.

The election on Thursday, May 2, will appoint a powerful figurehead for York and North Yorkshire to bring more decision-making powers and millions of pounds in funding to the region.

The photo must be a good likeness of the voter, and identification can still be used even if it has expired.

If they do not have an accepted form of ID, electors still have time to apply for a free voter authority certificate, and applications will be accepted until 5pm on Wednesday next week.

Anyone who is unable to vote in person or by post has until the same deadline to apply for a proxy vote.

North Yorkshire Council and City of York Council will be running the election in the two local authority areas. The result will be announced in Harrogate once votes have been counted on Friday, May 3, the day after the actual election.

North Yorkshire Council’s chief executive, Richard Flinton, will be the combined authority’s returning officer as well as the local returning officer for North Yorkshire for the election.

He said: “This is a very significant moment for York and North Yorkshire when hundreds of thousands of people will be given the opportunity to elect the first ever mayor for the region.

“The benefits of having a mayor will be far-reaching and will be felt for many years to come.

“Therefore, I would ask everyone who is going to the polls to ensure that they have the relevant identification with them to ensure that they can take part in such an important election.”

The mayor, who will serve a four-year term, will develop close links with the Government to secure more funding and decision-making powers as the devolution deal evolves. The deal includes an investment fund totalling £540 million over a 30-year term, which provides flexibility to target money to specific schemes on a more local level.

The mayor will also take on the responsibilities of the police, fire and crime commissioner for York and North Yorkshire. The commissioner is responsible for holding the chief constable as well as the chief fire officer to account and ensuring their services are efficient and effective.

The commissioner sets policing and crime priorities and oversees the police budget. The commissioner also supports community safety activities and provides victims of crime with a range of services, as well as setting priorities in the fire and rescue plan and overseeing the brigade’s budget.

More information is available at www.northyorks.gov.uk/mayoralelection and at www.york.gov.uk/elections online. Details of the candidates are available via the candidate address booklet at www.yorknorthyorks-ca.gov.uk/mayor/

Eligible voters can apply for a voter authority certificate online at www.gov.uk/apply-for-photo-id-voter-authority-certificate or by completing a paper form and sending to The Electoral Registration Officer, North Yorkshire Council, Civic Centre, Stone Cross, Rotary Way, Northallerton, DL6 2UU. Support is available for voters in North Yorkshire by emailing elections@northyorks.gov.uk.

Applicants in York should send the completed form to Electoral Services, City of York Council, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA, or they can email electoral.services@york.gov.uk for support.

Voters will need to provide a photo, their full name, date of birth, the address at which they are registered to vote and their National Insurance number. Applicants must be registered to vote before applying.