Skip to content

Elections Act 2022 changes


Please note: Voter ID is required for all elections and referendums.  Please see our Voter ID page for more information.

The UK government made significant changes to the UK electoral system from May 2023. The Elections Act 2022 contains several measures affecting:

  • elections and the way we vote
  • campaigning and the rules on campaign spending and funding

Summary of changes

More details of the changes are available on the Electoral Commission website via the following headings:

  • Voter ID - Voters and proxies voting at polling stations must show photo identification (ID) before they can vote. People voting by post do not need to provide ID. 
  • Anonymous electors - Registered anonymous electors, who need to be protected for their personal safety, also need to apply for an Anonymous Elector’s Document (AED). The document does not contain any personal information. It contains your elector number indicating you are eligible to vote in an election.
  • Anonymous electors voting at a polling station need to present both their Anonymous Elector’s Document (AED) and their anonymous poll card. 
  • Polling station accessibility - The Elections Act makes it easier for people with disabilities to vote. 
  • Postal voting - New postal vote application forms must be used from 31 October 2023. All applications received on or after 31 October must contain a National Insurance Number (NINo), or a reason if one is not provided. Applications on old forms will not be accepted after 30 October 2023. Postal vote applications will be valid for up to 3 years. The change to a 3-year application cycle will begin in January 2024.
  • Proxy voting - New proxy vote application forms must be used from 31 October 2023. All applications received on or after 31 October must contain a National Insurance Number (NINo), or a reason if one is not provided. Old application forms will not be accepted after 30 October 2023. New proxy rules take effect from 31 October 2023 - a person appointed as a proxy for someone else will only be able to vote for up to 4 electors (up to 2 UK registered electors and up to 2 registered overseas electors).
  • British overseas electors – The current 15-year limit on overseas elector registrations will be removed from January 2024. The UK Government is still completing final details of the the new process, so please do not apply for a new overseas registration at present.
  • European Union citizens - Some EU citizens will no longer be entitled to register, vote or stand for election. However, some groups of EU citizens will retain their rights.
  • Police and Crime Commissioner elections -  The voting system will change from the ‘supplementary voting system’ to ‘first past the post’. The next election for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall will be in May 2024.

Read more about the changes on the Electoral Commission website.

Need help?

Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.

Use our contact us form

Your feedback is important to us

Help us improve our service