Breaking: Petition to scrap undemocratic voter ID plans hits crucial 100,000 signatures

Josiah Mortimer, former Head of Communications

Posted on the 12th July 2021

Over 100,000 people have demanded ministers scrap plans to impose mandatory voter ID, amid growing fears that millions of people could be locked out of democracy.

The milestone on the governent’s e-petition site means the petition will be considered for a debate in Parliament.

Ministers’ recently-published Elections Bill contains proposals to stop those without ID from voting, for all Westminster elections, PCCS and all votes in England.

The proposals could disenfranchise voters on an industrial scale, at a cost of up to £20m per General Election.

While a ‘free’ ID has been promised, voters could have to travel in person from council offices, or print and return forms with a lengthy delay.

More than two million voters lack recognisable photo ID, according to the government’s own figures, and there are also mounting concerns that mandatory ID could infringe on devolved nations.

The calls to scrap this dangerous ID policy are growing by the day. This petition is a snapshot of the increasing anger from all corners at this undemocratic and unnecessary plan.

MPs across the spectrum – from the Conservatives’ David Davis to Labour’s Dawn Butler have expressed their opposition to this scheme, and voters are speaking up in large numbers.

It’s vital that all MPs and peers stand up for the right to vote, and challenge this costly legislation head on. It represents the biggest threat to voter rights in generations, and will only make our democracy more unequal. Imposing this policy in a pandemic is an expensive distraction that should be called-off before it’s too late.

More and more people are recognising that this policy will make it harder for everyone to vote. Ministers must tackle the real issues in our politics: cleaning up Britain’s broken political funding set-up, bringing in the nine million people who are missing from the electoral roll altogether, and – crucially – reforming Westminster’s one-party-takes-all voting system. Our electoral system is already disastrously unequal as things stand. The last thing we need is an attack on the franchise.

On Tuesday, MPs will debate the voter ID plans in a Westminster Hall debate. If you have a minute, please ask your MP to attend.

What you can do:

  1. Sign up to the new right to vote campaign, Hands Off Our Vote, which is backed by the ERS and other democracy organisations.
  2. Sign the ERS’ own petition against mandatory voter ID
  3. Read the ERS’ new briefing on voter ID to get the facts
  4. Join the movement for fair and equal elections today
  5. Share this piece on social media and in your networks

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