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Poll card - Voter ID pilot

Why is North West Leicestershire taking part in the Voter I.D. pilot? 

Cabinet Office has chosen various local authorities across the country to carry out voter I.D. pilots during the local elections to help inform government about the best way to tackle election fraud. 

North West Leicestershire has been asked to carry out a 'poll card' pilot - which means voters are asked to bring their poll card to the polling station with them when they vote on 2 May. Other areas are trialling different pilots (like photo I.D. and mixed identification). 

Who is paying for the voter I.D. publicity campaign? 

The Cabinet Office has endorsed our communications campaign and will pay for it in full. 

No North West Leicestershire council tax money is being spent on the campaign. 

I always take my poll card to vote - why are you telling me to take it this time? 

It has never previously been a requirement to take your poll card - or any other identification - to vote. In all other elections, you have simply needed to give your name and address. 

This year is different - we are asking voters to bring their poll card (or another accepted form of identification) with them to the polling station. 

Although many people do usually take their poll card with them, we need to make sure everyone knows that identification is needed for the election on 2 May. 

I've seen the message many different times - why is the publicity so extensive? 

Cabinet Office requires us to run a large scale, evidence-based communications campaign to ensure that all voters are aware of the requirement to bring their poll card (or another form of identity) when they vote on 2 May.

No identification has been required in previous elections. Whilst many people do take their poll card with them to vote, this has never been a request before.

As this is a change from the norm, it is essential we make sure people know of the requirements that the voter I.D. pilot has.

Our research and evidence tells us that people in our district respond best to messages that are brought to their attention in their own homes – either through addressed mail or through promotional items, such as bin tags. 

Which communication methods are you using to get the message out?

Our campaign includes methods that will reach most households in the district in their own homes, including: 

  • Inserts in council tax bills 
  • Tags on wheelie bins 
  • Wording on poll cards 
  • Reminder postcards 

We have also targeted our campaign in some places to reach particular groups of people: 

  • Posters and leaflets in public places, like libraries 
  • Our frontline staff - like housing officers and customer service advsors - are talking to customers about the pilot 
  • Community groups that support older people, people with disabilities and people whose first language isn't English
  • Leaflets and posters in care homes and schools
  • Messaging on pharmacy bags for people who are collecting medication

Some of our campaign reaches people by chance: 

  • Advertising in newspapers, community publications and on buses 
  • Our voter I.D. roadshow, which toured the district in March 

The wheelie bin tags are made of plastic and can't be recycled - why have you used them? 

Delivery of the bin tags has been specifically timed to coincide with the delivery of poll cards across the district to dissuade people from throwing their poll cards away.

Due to the nature of this communication tool, they need to be plastic-coated so that they stay in situ and are weather-proof. It is a shame they are not recyclable; if this option had been available, we would have taken it.

If you have lived in the area for a while, you will know that the district council rarely uses communication tools like bins tags.

Whilst many people may pick up the voter I.D. message on social media or take notice of the wording on their poll card, we know that many people will not and we can’t take the risk. The bin tags are a very good method of getting this message into households in the district. 

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