The UK Government is planning on going ahead with the introduction of reforms which will force voters to present photographic identification at polling stations. This will be a requirement at local elections in England next May, and introduced at the next ballot for other areas across Scotland and Wales. But do you support the new requirement? Vote in our poll.
The requirement for voters to prove their identity to vote falls under the Elections Act which became law in April. Ministers have said the change is required to prevent voter fraud yet the Electoral Commission reports “low levels” with just nine convictions since 2017.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s official spokesperson said: “We believe it’s right to ensure there are protections in place against potential voter fraud”, adding that voter ID has worked “successfully” in Northern Ireland since 2003.
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The UK Government has rejected calls to delay the implementation until after May’s local elections to ensure its success. The Electoral Commission’s director of electoral administration, Ailsa Irvine, told the Financial Times that changes “must be delivered in a way which is accessible, secure and workable”.
However, Liberal Democrats peer Baroness Pinnock said: “Safeguarding our democracy and our birthright to vote should be the priority of any responsible government. But, unless you have the right documents, this birthright will be snatched away from you by the Conservative Government.”
So what do YOU think? Do you support the introduction of photo ID at polling stations? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.