William Eichler 14 May 2021

Civil society groups denounce voter ID plans as ‘dangerous distraction’

Civil society groups denounce voter ID plans as ‘dangerous distraction’  image

Leading UK civil society groups have united to challenge plans to block those without ID from voting.

Voter ID is expected to be introduced by May 2023 after the Government pledged to introduce legislation to ‘ensure the integrity of elections’.

However, groups including Stonewall, Liberty, Electoral Reform Society (ERS), Operation Black Vote, NUS, Silver Voices and more, argue the Government’s proposals for mandatory voter ID are a ‘dangerous distraction’ that will ‘bring up the drawbridge to millions of ordinary voters’.

According to these civil society organisations, the plans, which will cost up to £20m per general election to implement, could see 3.5 million people who lack ID locked out of the ballot box, while making it harder for everyone to vote.

In a joint statement, these organisations said: ‘We are writing to express our deep concern about Government plans to force voters to show ID at the polling station – or be denied a vote.?

‘According to official figures, 3.5 million citizens do not have access to photo ID and 11 million do not have a passport or driving licence.

‘As the Government has often made clear, voting is safe and secure in the UK – making mandatory voter ID a solution in search of a problem.

‘Instead, these proposals will turn polling workers into de facto bouncers – a role they do not want to have, and which raises its own risks of discretion and discrimination.’???

Dr Jess Garland, director of policy and research at the ERS, said: ‘Figures across the political spectrum and civil society are rightly standing up to these costly and undemocratic plans. When millions of people lack photo ID, these proposals would make it harder to vote.

‘They risk disenfranchising a huge swathe of the public – which is why groups representing a wide range of society are sounding the alarm.

‘Instead of spending millions of pounds each election to lock down our polling stations, we should be closing the democratic divide and boosting political engagement. This coalition has one clear message to ministers: rethink this warped priority and scrap this dangerous ID policy.’

Skate parks are not the only fruit image

Skate parks are not the only fruit

On Go Skateboarding Day, Susannah Walker asks councils and their leisure and park departments to think differently about what facilities they provide for teenagers.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Travel Information Data Technician

Essex County Council
Up to £25581 per annum
This is an exciting opportunity to work across all aspects of the Integrated Passenger Transport Unit (IPTU). Working with a passionate and dedicated England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Planning Strategy & Implementation Manager

Essex County Council
£57621 - £61410 per annum
Planning Strategy & Implementation Manager Permanent, Full Time £57,621 to £61,410 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Accountant

Telford & Wrekin Council
£39,571 - £42,614
Are you a qualified Accountant looking to take the next step in your career? Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Family Assessment Worker

Telford & Wrekin Council
£25,419 to £27,514
We have a great opportunity for a full time Family Assessment Worker in the Parenting Assessment Team. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£23,023 - £24,920
The post holder will tackle environmental crimes and unlawful parking. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.