Demand for end to voter ID trials that ‘risk disenfranchising vulnerable people’

Compulsory ID for voters is intended to combat electoral fraud but there were just 44 allegations of voter impersonation in 2016.

Labour has said the government cannot ignore calls by more than 40 charities to halt trials of compulsory voter ID checks at elections – but This Writer reckons that is just wishful thinking.

Cat Smith, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement and Youth Affairs, said: “Once again, the Conservative party has demonstrated that it is completely out of touch.

“The Government cannot ignore this warning from an unprecedented coalition of charities and academics and continue with their cynical plans to introduce voter ID.

“Rather than putting up unnecessary barriers to voting off the back of very little evidence, this Government must urgently rethink their plan, to keep democracy as open and accessible as possible.”

When only around one person in a million is even suspected of committing voter fraud, it is clear that the Conservative government’s plan is pointless – and a waste of money.

So I reckon it’s a “false flag”. This isn’t about stopping voter fraud at all; it’s about stopping people from voting.

Look at the list of those who would be turned away from polling stations: young people, those with disabilities, BAME communities, homeless people and transgender and gender non-conforming people.

Not exactly the Conservative Party’s home constituency!

Of course, the Tories might be shooting themselves in the foot (again) as the policy may also hit older voters – around the only supporters they have left (the average age of party members is currently 72).

Perhaps it’s time to get in touch with your MP and warn that it’s time they stopped wasting your money.

A group of more than 40 charities, campaign groups and academics have written to the government to warn that plans to trial compulsory voter ID at the local elections in May risk disenfranchising large numbers of vulnerable people.

The letter to Chloe Smith, the constitution minister, says the pilot scheme is a disproportionate response to the scale of electoral fraud, noting that in 2016 there were just 44 allegations of voter impersonation, the issue that compulsory ID is intended to combat.

It said Electoral Commission figures indicated that 3.5 million people in Britain – 7.5% of the electorate – do not have access to any form of photo ID.

The letter was organised by the Electoral Reform Society and is signed by the heads of organisations including Age UK, the RNIB, the Salvation Army, the British Youth Council, Stonewall, Operation Black Vote, Liberty, the National Union of Students and St Mungo’s.

It says the trial, which will require voters in five local authorities to show ID before they can vote on 3 May, could “present a significant barrier to democratic engagement and risk compromising a basic human right for some of the most marginalised groups in society”.

The letter says research has shown that the voters least likely to possess the necessary ID include young or older people, those with disabilities, BAME communities, homeless people and transgender and gender non-conforming people.

Source: Voter ID trials ‘risk disenfranchising vulnerable people’ | Politics | The Guardian


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3 Thoughts to “Demand for end to voter ID trials that ‘risk disenfranchising vulnerable people’”

  1. Carol Fraser

    Have you forgotten that Gordon Brown was going to introduce ID cards? EU countries have them, US has them. If the UK had followed through with this we might not have the illegal problem and thus the xenophobic which is prevalent in the UK. With proper registration at the border all immigrants should have been registered and issued a temporary ID. Then the UK would have know how many immigrants were in the country. Then maybe, just maybe, Poles would not be being killed. But of course we have a conservative government and the incompetent May to thank for this monumental incompetence.

  2. NMac

    The whole Tory idea is to disenfranchise as many people who they deem not to be their supporters as they possibly can. It must be stopped.

  3. Florence

    The roll out of UC is also based on the applicants being able to provide similar photo ID. Those most in need will be unable to even start their claims. It is to create a clamour for a state ID card, while effectively harming the poor and vulnerable and elderly.

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