THE START of May heralds several things, including another month where we’re hoping for the better weather that doesn’t seem to come no matter how long we wait.

It is also the time of year where the clarion call to visit the ballot box comes again, as hopeful candidates await the verdict of weeks of campaigning as the public have their vote.

With Cornwall not having a mayor, council elections not due to take place until 2025 and an as-yet unknown date for a general election, there is only one major vote taking place across Cornwall today, May 2 - the election for police and crime commissioner.

Who is standing for police and crime commissioner in Cornwall?

Three candidates are standing for election in the hope of getting your vote to be the boss of Devon and Cornwall Police.

These are Alison Hernandez (Conservative), Steve Lodge (Liberal Democrat) and Daniel Steel (Labour). You can find out about each of the candidates and their manifestos by clicking here.

What do I need to vote? Do I need ID to vote?

This is the first major election in Cornwall which requires the holding of identification to vote, since the introduction of legislation by the government through the Elections Act 2022, which mandated it from May 2023 onwards.

To vote in person, you will need one of the following forms of identification.

  • a UK or Northern Ireland photocard driving licence (full or provisional)
  • a driving licence issued by an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, the Isle of Man or any of the Channel Islands
  • a UK passport
  • a passport issued by an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or a Commonwealth country
  • a PASS card (National Proof of Age Standards Scheme)
  • a Blue Badge
  • a biometric residence permit (BRP)
  • a Defence Identity Card (MOD form 90)
  • a national identity card issued by the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
  • a Northern Ireland Electoral Identity Card
  • a Voter Authority Certificate
  • an Anonymous Elector’s Document

You can also use one of the following travel passes as photo ID when you vote:

  • an older person’s bus pass
  • a disabled person’s bus pass
  • an Oyster 60+ card
  • a Freedom Pass
  • a Scottish National Entitlement Card (NEC)
  • a 60 and Over Welsh Concessionary Travel Card
  • a Disabled Person’s Welsh Concessionary Travel Card
  • a Northern Ireland concessionary travel pass

An expired ID (such as an out-of-date passport) is acceptable provided the photo still bears a likeness to the person it belongs to.

Why do I need to show ID to vote?

Guidance issued by Cornwall Council explained: “Voters at polling stations must show photo identification (ID) before they can vote. This also applies to a proxy voting on someone’s behalf.  People voting by post do not need to provide ID.

“Voter ID is designed to prevent personation, the crime of pretending to be someone else when you vote. The Government acknowledges levels of fraud are low but argues that every ballot matters. They say that voter ID will protect voters from having their vote stolen.

“The Electoral Commission ran a public awareness campaign on television, radio and online in early 2023. This was to help voters be ready for this change.”