Plans to introduce voter ID across the whole country have been branded ‘dangerous, misguided and undemocratic’ by the Electoral Reform Society (ERS).
According to leaked reports, the Government plans to include a bill in the Queen’s Speech that would force people to produce their ID before they could vote.
But the ERS claims the move would make it harder for millions of ordinary people to vote, as 11 million citizens do not have a passport of driving licence.
Trials across ten councils in the local elections in May saw 700 people turned away from the polls, yet there were just eight allegations of personation fraud in the UK last year.
Chief executive of the ERS, Darren Hughes, said: ‘These mooted plans risk raising the drawbridge to huge numbers of marginalised voters – including many elderly and BAME voters.
‘The Government have sat on their hands in the face of the actual threats to electoral integrity: anonymous 'dark ads', dodgy donations and disinformation. Instead of taking on the real issues, they are using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
‘Make no mistake – these plans will leave tens of thousands of legitimate voters voiceless. Ministers should focus on combating the real threats to our democracy, rather than suppressing voters’ rights.
‘This gamble with our democracy will strike many voters as US-style gerrymandering, with Britain’s tradition of trust at the ballot box abolished in one swoop. Ministers must think again.’