Hiba Mahamadi 30 April 2019

Voter ID plans slammed as 'undemocratic'

Mandatory voter ID requirements will seriously damage democracy, the Electoral Reform Society has warned again ahead of the local elections this week.

Some 10 councils will trial the system, under which voters who show up without personal identification will be turned away.

The society stressed there was no evidence of widespread electoral fraud in the UK, citing the fact there were just eight cases of impersonation last year.

More than 1,000 voters were turned away from polling stations for not having ID during trials last year.

Director of policy and research at the society, Dr Jess Garland, said: ‘Rather than spending up to £20m per election on making it harder to vote, we should be encouraging participation and ensuring online campaign rules are fit for the 21st century.’

Shadow minister for voter engagement, Cat Smith, called the voter ID plans ‘undemocratic’ and ‘unpopular,’ adding they would negatively impact ethnic minorities, older people, the disabled and students.

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