Map shows Surrey areas where people will be unable to vote in General Election after ID change

Thousands of registered voters across Surrey have no qualifying ID, denying them the right to vote in the upcoming General Election. Exclusive data from Survation and Royal Holloway, University of London estimates that more than 26,000 people in the county are registered but lack appropriate ID to vote - some 3% of all those registered.

The proportion is far higher in some areas, however. In the ward of Knaphill in Woking, for example, an estimated 13% of registered voters don’t have ID, affecting nearly 1,000 people. The rate is similarly high in Westborough in Guildford (11%) - where the boundary changes in 2022 saw it lose some areas and gain others - and Sunbury East in Spelthorne (10%).

Chris Hanretty, Professor of Politics at Royal Holloway, University of London, said: "The vast majority of registered voters have photo ID, but a small proportion don't, and that small proportion gets bigger in some areas. If just a few of these voters without ID turn up to vote, we can expect lots of stories about people being disenfranchised."

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You can compare figures for every ward in England and Wales using our interactive map:

New laws requiring voter ID were introduced last year, with the local elections in England on 4 May 2023 being the first in Britain to require voters to show identification before being issued with a ballot paper. Voters can use passports, driving licences, Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) cards, Blue badges, and some concessionary travel cards. View the full list here.

People without an existing acceptable form of voter ID can apply online or by post for a free Voter Authority Certificate (VAC). The deadline to apply for a VAC in order to vote in the Parliamentary General Election on Thursday, July 4 is 5pm on Wednesday, June 26.

If you go to the polling station without the correct ID, you’ll be turned away - and in fact Boris Johnson was turned away from his local polling station this May after forgetting to bring ID. Meanwhile, thousands of people who tried to vote at a polling station in May 2023 were not able to because of the voter ID requirement, and many non-voters said they did not vote because of the ID requirement.

In its statutory report, produced in September 2023, the Electoral Commission found that some people found it harder than others to show accepted voter ID, including disabled people, younger voters, people from ethnic minority communities, and the unemployed. The Commission and others have recommended the list of allowable ID be reviewed and consideration be given to making the voter ID rules more accessible to the most affected groups.

However, the Government rejected calls for additional types of ID to be added to the list, saying the implementation of voter ID was “conducted efficiently with very few voters initially turned away”.

Please note this article has been updated, as it incorrectly stated Westborough ward in Guildford 'no longer existed due to boundary changes'. We are happy to clarify, the boundaries of the ward changed following the Boundary Review in 2022, which saw it lose some areas and gain others. We would like to apologise for any confusion caused.

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