Campaigners say government should scrap ‘expensive, undemocratic’ voter ID plans – as ministers plan more trials

Posted on the 23rd August 2018

Commenting on the Cabinet Office’s call for councils to sign up to further mandatory voter ID pilots, Darren Hughes, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

“The Government is pushing ahead with this draconian scheme despite the fact it creates an additional barrier to voting and could end up costing up to £20m per General Election.

“The five trials this year – which denied around 350 people their vote – failed to represent the country, dominated by areas of limited diversity in the south of England.

“But while the Government is right to be seeking out greater diversity among the participating councils, even if that is achieved further trials at local elections will provide little insight into the impact voter ID might have in General Elections. Turnout in general elections is substantially higher and a much broader range of people would want to participate.

“We should be reviving our democracy, not undermining it: ensuring we’re all registered to vote, improving the accessibility of our polling stations, and increasing public awareness. That’s where the Government should be focused – not interfering with the right to vote.

“The government should abandon these costly, undemocratic plans and focus on boosting democratic engagement instead.”

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