VOTERS have been reminded to make sure they have checked their photo ID ahead of elections this year.

Residents will go to the polls to vote for the Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner in May, and there must be a general election before January 28, 2025.

In order to vote in both elections, voters will need to bring a valid form of photo ID.

This requirement was introduced under the government’s Elections Act, and was in place during the BCP Council local elections last year.

Voter turnout for a general election is expected to be greater than for a local election, so the council is urging residents to make sure they are ready to vote by checking now for an accepted form of ID.

Bournemouth Echo: BCP Council has reminded residents to check their ID.

Accepted ID includes UK, European Economic Area or Commonwealth passport; a UK, EEA or Commonwealth driving licence; and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass.

ID can be used if it is expired, if the voter is still recognisable from the photo.

If residents do not have any accepted photo ID, they can apply now for a free voter ID document, which is known as a Voter Authority Certificate.

Graham Farrant, returning officer at BCP Council, said: “The next 12 months will feature two very important elections that offer our residents the chance to have their democratic say.

“The introduction of voter ID at last year’s local elections was a challenge our residents responded to, with only 0.1 per cent of people that wanted to vote in BCP on the day finding they did not have the right ID to be able to do so.

“However, we will have two elections within the next 12 months, including a general election, and many new voters who have turned 18 since May 2023.

“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 and prepared for whenever the general election is called.”

Voters must be registered to vote by Tuesday, April 16 if they want to have their say or if they want to apply for Voter Authority Certificate.

To find out if you are on the electoral register, contact BCP Council on 01202 123400, or email

To register for vote, visit

Residents will not need to provide ID to vote by post. Applications for a postal vote must be done by 5pm on Wednesday, April 17.