In the recent Queen’s Speech, the Government formally announced their plans to introduce mandatory Voter ID at the next election.
This policy requires voters to present photo ID to vote at polling stations in future elections.
Labour have called on the Conservatives to urgently rethink the policy, raising concerns that the policy will reverse decades of democratic progress and threaten to bar millions of people from exercising their democratic right to vote.
Since this policy was first announced in December 2016, the Government has received multiple warnings from charities, civil society figures and campaign groups that mandatory voter ID – if rolled out nationally – could pull up the drawbridge for millions of voters.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper, responding to the Government’s announcement of introducing Voter ID at elections, said:
“Voter ID is a total waste of taxpayers’ money. The policy is set to cost millions of pounds at every election.
“Voting is safe and secure in Britain. Ministers should be promoting confidence in our elections instead of spreading baseless scare stories which threaten our democracy.
“Millions of people lack photo ID in this country – in particular the elderly, low income and Black, Asian and ethnic minority voters. The Conservatives are reversing decades of democratic progress and urgently need to rethink this pointless policy.”
“I remain deeply concerned about these plans and believe the government is exaggerating a minuscule proportion of fraudulent votes.
“While I welcome a commitment to funding a free ID card for those without photo ID, I still believe that many will find it harder to vote as a result of this legislation. Restricting access to the ballot box in the name of greater security is a deeply cynical move by a government that is happy to rig the game to keep winning.”