Published: Tue 30 April, 2019
North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) has enlisted the help of a very clever dog to spread the word that voters in the district’s local elections should bring their poll cards with them to the polling station on 2 May.
Cezar – a highly trained Border Collie – is helping the council to raise awareness of the district’s voter I.D. pilot through a series of short videos.
Shown stopping his forgetful owner from throwing away her poll card and running down the street with her poll card in his mouth on election day, Cezar’s efforts are all part of a widespread campaign to make people aware of the need to bring identification to vote in the local elections this year.
Poll cards were delivered to households in the district between 22 March and 1 April and should be taken as proof of identity when people vote in the district and parish council elections.
Voters have never had to present any identification at elections in the district before.
Other forms of I.D. including passports and driving licences will also be accepted at polling stations, but without any form of identification, people will not be able to vote.
A full list of accepted forms of identification can be found at www.nwleics.gov.uk/voterID
Anyone who loses their poll card and does not have any of the alternative forms of I.D. can apply for a replacement poll card by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01530 454512 up to 9pm on polling day.
Bev Smith, Returning Officer for NWLDC, said: “Cezar is an absolutely fantastic dog – he’s so clever that his owner can rely on him to make sure she can vote. After stopping her from throwing it away twice, he’s there on election day to chase after her and make sure she has her poll card with she gets to the polling station.
“We want everyone to know that they need to bring I.D. – preferably their poll card – to vote in this year’s local elections on 2 May.
“We’ve pushed out this message in lots of different ways, but there is a chance that some people might not have picked it up, so if you know someone who votes in local elections – please make sure they know that they should take their poll card with them.”
The voter I.D. pilot is part of a government scheme to find out the best ways of tackling election fraud in the U.K. Find out more about the voter I.D. pilots at www.gov.uk/government/collections/voter-id-pilots