Parliament: Experts warn of ‘missing millions’ in General Election and slam ‘show your papers’ voter ID proposals.

Posted on the 5th November 2019

  • Statement from the Electoral Reform Society for immediate release, 5th November 2019
  • Contact Jon Narcross – Communications Officer / 07794728820 for more information or interview bids. 

The Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society will call for Britain’s ‘analogue age’ electoral laws to be brought into the 21st Century in evidence to Parliament today.

Mr Hughes will appear before the Lords’ Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 Committee to give oral evidence on voter registration at 3:30pm [1]

It comes as the ERS publish new evidence to the committee on the introduction of Individual Electoral Registration, and the government’s proposed roll-out of mandatory voter ID across the UK [2].

Darren Hughes will call for action to ‘bring in’ the 9.4m who aren’t on the electoral roll [3] – and condemn proposals for mandatory voter ID as ‘profoundly undemocratic’ given up to 3.5m people lack photo ID.

The ERS are calling for moves towards automatic voter registration, including the ability to register whenever people interact with public bodies.

ERS Chief Executive Darren Hughes will tell peers:

“Our out-dated registration system means there are millions of voters missing from the electoral roll. Combine this with the undemocratic ‘show your papers’ voter ID policy, the government are proposing, and we’re looking at a dangerous double-whammy that could lead to millions of voices being excluded from our elections.

“Voting is a right and one that you shouldn’t have to opt into. By putting up more and more barriers between potential voters and the ballot box we risk seeing falling turnout that will leave millions of voices missing from our election – with certain groups losing out the most.

“We need a ‘registration revolution’ in the UK – making it easier for people to get on the electoral roll with automatic registration and a ‘motor-voter’ style law. If we don’t see these changes current proposals look like little more than US-style voter suppression laws that undermine the principles of a fair democracy. We call on all parties to commit to our pledge to deepen democracy, not undermine it.”


Notes to Editors

[1] 05 November 2019 3:15 pm – Oral Evidence Session Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013: Watch the full evidence session online:

[2] Electoral Reform Society – Written evidence (ERA0014)


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