Voter ID: ‘protecting the integrity of democracy’ – or just stopping plebs from voting?

Voters at the ballot box: but would either of these people have been able to exercise their democratic right, had they been asked to produce acceptable photographic identification?

Boris Johnson’s government has already failed on two key promises – raising the minimum wage and rail access for disabled people – but he’s promising to be really good at delivering this one.

He says introducing mandatory photographic identification of voters at polling stations will “protect the integrity of our democracy” – it’s on page 48 of his Conservative manifesto.

He means he wants to deprive tens of thousands of young people and those from disadvantaged groups from voting – because they don’t vote Tory.

Critics have pointed out that very few people have been caught committing personation – pretending to be someone else in order to commit electoral fraud.

In comparison, 800 genuine voters were turned away in a pilot project earlier this year.

Meanwhile, critics have warned that Mr Johnson is ignoring genuine problems like anonymous political ads, dodgy donations and fake news.

It seems that, while claiming to be improving democracy, Mr Johnson is in fact trying to, badly, limit it.

Source: Voter ID: Boris Johnson to make photo ID mandatory at polling stations, Queen’s Speech reveals | The Independent

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7 thoughts on “Voter ID: ‘protecting the integrity of democracy’ – or just stopping plebs from voting?

  1. Growing Flame

    This sounds bad. How would it work? Would we have to take a passport or a Driving Licence to vote, as both have our photos?
    What about the millions of (less well-off) people who don’t have a car and don’t go abroad for any reason.
    Offhand, I can’t think of anything else that would routinely contain a personal photo.

    What about postal voters? Will they now have to go somewhere to prove who they are? Which rather negates the point of using a postal vote so you DON’T have to go somewhere specific on a particular day. It would be ironic if any new Johnsonite scheme inconvenienced postal voters who seem to be disproportionately Tory supporters.

    (During the recent election, literally the only sign of Tory activity in my small southern English town was a single local Tory ambling along the street , sorting out the postal votes. They won, of course!)

    Then again, when many working-class people are amongst the non-voters, and that number will grow as Johnson’s deceipt over the ease of achieving Brexit becomes apparent, there may be a growing tendency to avoid bothering, especially if you have to remember to take your passport or, even, obtain a passport in the first place.

    Maybe the whole nasty idea will die of confusion or boredom.

  2. wildthing666

    Maybe an 18 year old doesn’t have a licence or passport, not all 18 year olds want to drive or go on foreign holidays. Those on benefits might have better things to spend their money on rather than a passport or provisional driving licence.
    Getting some form of ID just to vote is discriminatory against those able or wanting to vote. Choose to postal vote all you have to do is sign part of the form and put a cross in the box of the candidate you are selecting.

    This year I didn’t get my postal vote so didn’t vote as you cannot go to the polling station on the day if you register for a postal vote and trying to call the council for a voting slip on the day I didn’t get through.

  3. Tony

    The US constitution guarantees votes for all. And so things like poll taxes and literacy tests were introduced in some states to get round this by stopping mainly African American voters from voting.

    These measures were all strongly supported by Lyndon Johnson until, following his successful coup against President Kennedy, knew he needed to change his stance in order to help secure the presidential nomination in 1964. African Americans were also substantial voting blocs in what were then swing states such as Illinois, California, New Jersey and even New York.

    In recent years, voter ID has been touted as a new way of helping to revive the voter suppression of the past. And that idea has now crossed the Atlantic.

    But you need photo ID to pick up a parcel from the Post Office. This is not true–a bank card is accepted.

  4. kateuk

    Until recently when I moved house, I didn’t have a valid passport and my driving licence was the old type without a photo. I had to jump through hoops when I moved because I had to change my address on my licence, which meant getting a new photo ID licence. With no valid passport (it expired 2 years ago) the DVLA refused to give me a photo ID licence without further evidence that I was entitled to live and drive in the UK – I was born here, my parents were British, and I’d sent them my original birth certificate plus the old licence that I’d had since 1974! Most of the documents they asked for I didn’t have – no marriage or divorce certificates or anything from the benefits office as I’ve never claimed any benefits. Eventually they accepted a P60 from work even though it wasn’t “original” as these documents are emailed these days. I know an awful lot of older people who haven’t moved house in the last 30+ years and therefore have an old style licence. If they don’t have a passport either then how are they meant to vote?

  5. NMac

    The nasty Tories have copied this evil trick from the USA – I believe in Florida so many Democrat voters don’t have ID that it ensures a Republican majority.

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