Electoral Reform Society condemn ‘undemocratic’ voter ID trials as honest voters turned away

Posted on the 3rd May 2018

  • Statement from the Electoral Reform Society for immediate release, 4th May 2018
  • For more information or to arrange an interview/further comment, contact mediaoffice@electoral-reform.org.ukor call 020 3743 6064
  • The ERS’ pre-election report “Voters Locked Out: The Risks of Voter ID in England” is available to read here

Commenting on the news [1] that voters have been turned away in the voter ID trial areas, Darren Hughes, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

“Today has shown these trials to be the chaotic, undemocratic mess many predicted. There is mounting evidence from the pilot areas that ordinary people have been denied their democratic right to vote because of the voter ID requirements.

“This is exactly what we feared: that this draconian measure would result in blameless individuals being disenfranchised.

“Electoral fraud is a serious matter, but the government are taking entirely the wrong approach. There has not been a single example of personation – the type of fraud the trials are intended to prevent – in any of the pilot areas in the last decade.

“Even senior figures in trial areas have spoken out [2], while the government continues to push misleading statistics [3] to back its mandatory ID push.

“The worrying fact is that we’ll never know how many voters have been put off by the government’s ill-judged experiment.

“With more and more examples of honest voters shut out by this policy, these deeply flawed trials must not be a fait accompli for a national roll-out.

“After the polls have closed we will be assessing the impact of the trials. In the meantime, we would encourage people to use their vote in their local elections.”


Notes to Editors

[1] E.g. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/05/03/voter-chaos-voters-turned-away-polling-booth-pilot-areas-local/ and https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/may/03/uk-voters-turned-away-polling-stations-id-trial

[2] https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/britains-hidden-poor-face-being-12469236

[3] https://twitter.com/electoralreform/status/992035799351906306


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