Voter ID rollout to cost up to £20m each General Election

Posted on the 13th August 2018

  • Statement from the Electoral Reform Society in response to costing estimates published by the Cabinet Office.
  • Spokespeople are available for interview. For more information, contact mediaoffice@electoral-reform.org.uk or 07870212425.

Commenting on the Cabinet Office’s admission that imposing mandatory voter ID could cost up to £20m per general election, Darren Hughes, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

“We already knew that this policy was a solution looking for a problem, but now it looks like it will be an expensive one at that. The government’s draconian plan to force voters to prove themselves at the polling station could add as much as £20m to the cost of each election.

“That’s over £700k per allegation of polling station fraud last year – a lot of money to throw at unverified rumours, when we know there are real democratic problems to fix. There were just 28 allegations of personation – the type of fraud ID is meant to fix – in 2017 which resulted in a single conviction out of 45 million votes. One way or another, this policy is going to cost voters dearly.

“While the government seek to put up expensive barriers to voting, the pressing issues our democracy faces go unaddressed. 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 we should be spending this money – 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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