On Thursday 4 May, local elections are taking place in Luton, and this year’s election will see changes to both how we vote and what area we vote in.
It’s vitally important that you use your vote to elect the councillors that will represent your ward area for the next four years. Poll cards are currently being posted out by the council, but you can still register to vote by midnight on Monday 17 April, using this link: http://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. Opting to vote early using a postal vote also gives you more time to vote, minimising the risk of circumstances on polling day getting in the way of voting, although a postal vote can still be used to vote in person on election day.
Voter ID is being introduced for the first time this year, which means you will need to bring photographic ID, such as a bus pass, driving licence or passport, with you to vote. A full list of accepted forms of ID can be found here: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/voter-id/accepted-forms-photo-id. Anyone without photographic ID can apply to Luton Council for a Voter Authority Certificate (VAC), with a deadline of 5pm on Tuesday 25 April in order to receive it in time for polling day on Thursday 4 May. This is a new element to voting so it’s important to check now if you have the necessary photo ID, or if you need a VAC, so that you are able to vote.
Local ward areas also have new boundaries following the recent ward boundary reviews. For many, not a lot will change, but for some this will mean voting within an area with a new name or at a new polling station location. It’s advised to check your poll card letter ahead of time to see whether the polling station you usually use has changed to avoid confusion.
I am proud that Luton is a diverse community, and our Council representatives must reflect that. Labour is the only party fielding a full slate of 48 candidates in every ward in the borough, representing a diverse range of backgrounds, with almost half of our candidates being women.
Remember to register to vote before 17 April, apply for a Voter Authority certificate if applicable before 25 April and to have your say by voting on (or before) Thursday 4 May!