Published on

3 June 2024

Get ready for the general election on Thursday 4 July

Make sure you are registered to vote and have your photo ID ready for the general election

Polling station

The general election will take place on Thursday 4 July and polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm.

Following changes to parliament constituency boundaries, all residents in Wokingham Borough now fall into one of two areas for electing local Members of Parliament:

  • Earley and Woodley
  • Wokingham

Residents can view a map of current and new boundaries on the House of Commons library. They can also check their Parliamentary constituency by putting in their postcode into the Electoral Commission’s upcoming elections checker.

Candidates for each constituency will be published by 5pm on Friday 7 June.

There have been a number of significant changes introduced to elections and the voting process in the last year. And with only a month to go until the general election, Wokingham Borough Council is urging residents to make sure they are prepared and to take action now to ensure they can have their say.

Anyone wishing to vote in the general election needs to be registered to vote. The deadline to register is 11.59pm on Tuesday 18 June and it takes just five minutes to do.

Those wishing to register will be asked for their national insurance number, but you can still register even if you don’t have one. You normally only need to register once – not for every election. However, you need to register again if you have changed your name, address or nationality.

It is important to remember that all residents will need to bring suitable photo ID in order to vote. Although photo ID was introduced in 2023, not everyone has voted in local elections since then and for many people this will be the first time they have needed to bring it to vote at a polling station.

Accepted forms of ID include a passport, full or provisional driving licence and blue badge. A full list of accepted ID is available on the Electoral Commission’s website.

If you don’t have ID you can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate. If you applied before, you do not need to apply again this year. The deadline to apply for the general election is 5pm on Wednesday 26 June.

Expired ID will be accepted, as long as you still look like the photograph on the document. If you turn up without suitable photo ID, you will not be issued with a ballot paper. Bringing your poll card alone will not entitle you to vote. All voters will be asked to show their ID before they are issued with their ballot paper.

Absent voting and recent changes

Absent voting allows you to vote in an election by post or by proxy if you are unable to vote in person at the polling station on the day. For example, you may be unable to vote in person if you are at work, on holiday or have a medical condition or disability that makes it difficult. It is now possible to apply for a postal or a proxy vote online.

For anyone who is registered to vote and wishes to vote by post, or to cancel or amend a postal or proxy vote, they have until 5pm on Wednesday 19 June. The deadline for to apply for a proxy vote is 5pm on Wednesday 26 June.

There have been recent changes to postal and proxy voting that will be in place for the general election:

  • You need to prove your identity when applying to vote by post and by proxy
  • There are changes to how many people someone can act as a proxy for
  • You need to reapply for a postal vote every three years (previously five years)

If you are a postal voter, once received, you should complete and return your ballot paper pack as soon as possible using a Royal Mail post box.

If you miss the post, you can hand it in at the Council Offices, Shute End, Wokingham (during office hours) or your polling station on election day. Choosing to hand in your postal vote will mean that you must complete an additional form with an authorised member of our staff. If you do not, your postal vote will be rejected. 

Key dates to remember

Voters will receive a poll card in the post prior to the election. Residents are advised to read their poll card carefully, as it will tell them where to vote on Thursday 4 July and remind them to bring photo ID.

Anonymous voting

If you are concerned that your safety would be at risk if your name or address were listed on the electoral register, you can register to vote anonymously by downloading and completing an application form from the Electoral Commission website

Due to the new requirement to bring photo ID to vote at a polling station, residents who register to vote anonymously, or who plan to register to vote anonymously, will also need to apply for an anonymous elector’s document (AED).

Anonymous registrations only last for one year, so you must ensure you apply every year to ensure you don’t lose your vote.

The deadline to register to vote anonymously is 11.59pm on Tuesday 18 June. Applications for an AED must be submitted before 5pm on Wednesday 26 June and this will need to be brought to the polling station. This means you do not need to show an additional form of photo ID when voting.

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