• Norwood Forum

Everything you need to know about the elections on 2 May

Note: edited (26.03.24) as the Knight's Hill ward council by-election has now been called for Thursday 2 May. Find all the details here.

It is part of the purpose and values of Norwood Forum to promote democracy, and we want as many members of our community to take part in the democratic process as possible, without prejudice or discrimination.
What exactly is happening on 2 May? Am I registered to vote? What is this about photo ID to vote? Read more below under the following headings:

  • Thursday 2 May 2024 Elections
  • Am I eligible to vote in these elections?
  • How to vote - including info on the new, obligatory Photo ID requirement
  • Critical deadlines to note

Thursday 2 May 2024 Elections
On Thursday 2 May, Londoners will be voting for:

  • the Mayor of London - currently Sadiq Khan
  • the 14 Members of the London Assembly that represent London’s 14 Constituencies - for our constituency of Lambeth and Southwark that is currently Marina Ahmed
  • the 11 Assembly Members that represent the whole of London (London-wide Members) - see who these are here.

Also on our patch, a Lambeth Council by-election is to held in Knights Hill Ward to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Councillor Sonia Winifred.

In 2022 the UK Government passed the Elections Act which made a number of changes to how we vote in the UK:

  • It is now mandatory to show photo ID when voting at a polling station in the UK. More details on this change below
  • We used to vote for our first and second choice for Mayor of London, now we vote for just one person - called First Past the Post.

You can read more about these changes on London Elects here.

Am I eligible to vote in these elections?
To vote in the Mayor of London and London Assembly elections you must:

  • be registered to vote
  • live in London
  • be at least 18 years old on the day of the elections
  • be a British citizen, a European Union citizen or a Commonwealth citizen who has or does not require leave to remain in the UK

If you're not sure, you can check if you're eligible to vote.
You'll need to provide your date of birth and National Insurance number. If you do not have this information, you can provide a different kind of evidence of your identity.

To register to vote or check if you are already registered to vote, this Electorial Commission webpage has everything you need

How to vote
In person with the new photo ID

If you want to vote in person you can only do that at your designated Polling Station; opening times are 7am-10pm. Find out which is yours here via the Where Do I Vote website. For the first time ever you will now be required to show an accepted form of photographic ID. Only original documents will be accepted, no photocopies. The documents can be out of date, but the photo must still look like you on election day.

What to do if you dont have an accepted form of photographic ID?
You can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate. You can apply for a VAC online at GOV.UK, in person at Lambeth Town Hall, or by post. 
If you would like to apply for a VAC, you’ll need:

  • a recent, digital photograph of yourself
  • your National Insurance number.

If you don't have a National Insurance Number, you will need other documents to prove your identity. For example, a birth certificate, bank statement, or utility bill.
All the information you need on applying for a Voter Authority Certificate can be found here.

Postal Vote
Every voter is entitled to be issued with a postal vote and you do not need photo ID to do so. The ballot paper is sent to you by post and you complete and post it back by a specified closing date. All the information you need on voting by post can be found here. This link also explains how to allocate your vote to someone else if you are not able to vote yourself due, for instance, to sickness. This is called a Proxy Vote.

Critical deadlines to note
Registering to vote deadline
Tuesday 16 April 2024: deadline for registering to vote for The Mayor of London and London Assembly Elections (and any Council by elections?)

Application deadlines - these dates relate to the date Lambeth receives your application, not the date you sent it.
Wednesday 17 April, 5pm: deadline to apply for a new postal vote or make changes to an existing postal and proxy vote
Wednesday 24 April, 5pm: deadline to apply for a new proxy vote (not postal proxy or emergency proxies) 
Wednesday 24 April, 5pm: deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate (photo ID)
Thursday 2 May, 5pm: deadline to apply for a reissued replacement lost/spoilt postal votes
Thursday 2 May, 5pm: deadline to apply for an emergency proxy application
Thursday 2 May, 10pm: deadline to apply for a Temporary Voter Certificate (photo ID).