Don’t lose your voice!

Everything you need to know to vote in the general election

Reading time: 3 min

Unite is encouraging everyone to protect their right to vote in the build up to the UK general election on July 4.

Following changes to the electoral system, everyone needs to bring ID to the polling booth, or risk being turned away.

During the 2023 local elections in England, thousands of people lost their vote because they didn’t have an accepted form of ID – so make sure this doesn’t happen to you this year.

Unite political officer Mary Williams said, “The way we vote has changed. In 2022, a law was introduced which means when we vote at a polling station, we now need to show an accepted form of ID.

“Last year the local government elections in England was the first time this change was in place. We now know that at least 14,000 were turned away from polling stations because they didn’t have or didn’t know about ID. Denied their right to vote, they couldn’t use their voice.”

Unite has highlighted three actions that all members can take to make sure they don’t lose their vote in the general election on July 4.

First, ensure you are registered to vote. If you’re not yet registered, you have until 11.59pm on June 18 to apply to be included on the Electoral Register in time for the general election.

Plus, you can also apply for a postal vote making things easier if, for example, work or childcare commitments make a visit to the polling station difficult. The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm, June 19.

Most importantly, before you go to the polling station, make sure you have an acceptable form of ID with you. Unite has a full list on its “You now need ID to vote” page.

“Go to Unite’s Don’t Lose your Voice page and you’ll find everything you’ll need for you, your friends and family,” adds Mary.

There are campaign packs available full of resources, including posters and leaflets, to help reps ensure everyone is aware of the changes – and know how to be prepared.

Mary summed up, “Remember, register to vote, apply for a postal vote, and sort out your ID. Don’t lose your voice!”

By Keith Hatch