Changes to how we vote


In 2022 the UK Government passed the Elections Act which made a number of changes to how we vote in the UK. On this page you can find out more about the changes.

Photo ID

It is now mandatory to show photo ID when voting at a polling station in the UK.

Find out more about accepted forms of ID.

If you do not have one of the specified forms of ID you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate.

How we vote for the Mayor of London

The Act changed the way we vote for the Mayor of London, as well as other directly elected mayors in England. 

Previously voters were able to make a first and second choice vote. This voting system was called the Supplementary Vote.

Under the new system, voters can make one choice only. This system is called First Past the Post. It is also used for UK Parliamentary elections.

The way we vote for the London Assembly has not changed.

Find out more about how to vote in London.

Voting from overseas

Previously only UK citizens who have lived overseas for 15 years or less were eligible to register. Now it is possible to register no matter how long you have lived overseas, provided that you were registered to vote in the UK before moving, or were too young to register.

However, UK citizens living overseas are only eligible to vote in UK Parliamentary elections. Therefore this change does not affect who can vote in the Mayor of London and London Assembly elections.

Voting by post

There have been several changes to the postal voting process. 

It is now possible to apply for a postal vote online. Alternatively if you prefer you can still download, print and return a form to your borough’s electoral registration office. 

You must now provide ID verification as part of the application process. 

You can now hold a postal vote for a maximum period of three years. You need to reapply at the end of this time. If you have previously applied for a postal vote for longer than three years, your borough’s electoral registration office will be in touch when you need to re-apply. 

As in previous years it is possible to return your postal vote by hand to your borough’s electoral registration office or any polling station in the borough where you are registered. However, you are now required to complete a short form when returning a postal vote by hand. Please allow time for this. 

It is not possible to return more than five postal voting packs by hand, in addition to your own.