VOTERS will require ID to vote during Braintree Council elections next year.

The authority is one of 11 authorities to take part in the latest stage of trials, following on from a pilot involving five areas last year.

Residents across the district will require either one form of photo ID or up to two forms of non-photo ID in order to cast their vote at May's elections.

Returning officer for Braintree Council Andy Wright said: “We’re happy to have been chosen by the Cabinet Office to deliver one of their electoral integrity pilots.

"Over the next few months we will be working closely with our community to get ready for this change which will see them bring identification with them when they vote.

"Our residents will ultimately be playing an important part in providing further insight into how best to ensure the security of the voting process across the country.”

The move has drawn strong criticism from some quarters, saying it will affect disadvantaged voters the most.

However the Government claims last year's trials were a success, with the "overwhelming majority" of people being able to cast their vote without a problem.

Minister for the Constitution, Chloe Smith MP said:“I am pleased to see Braintree Council taking part in the 2019 pilots.

"Their participation will help us gain a deeper understanding of how voter ID will work on a wider scale ahead of a national rollout, and see what works best for voters.

“We want people to have confidence that our elections are safeguarded against any threat or perception of electoral fraud.

"People are already required to show ID to pick up a parcel from the Post Office, rent a car, or apply for benefits and this is a common sense next step to securing the integrity of our elections.”

The Cabinet Office said it is engaging with charities and civil society organisations to ensure that the overall policy reflects the needs of all voters in the UK.