UK Government should scrap photo ID requirement for elections after thousands of people were disenfranchised – Scotsman comment

Voter ID is set to be required for Westminster elections in Scotland

Do you have a photographic identification card? Is it the right kind? If you plan to vote in the next UK general election or the expected Rutherglen and Hamilton West byelection you should check, because without it, you won’t be able to.

According to the Electoral Commission, about 14,000 people were disenfranchised in the recent English local council elections because they did not have the correct photo ID. And it noted that the number was likely to be “significantly more” with some people put off before being recorded.

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The UK Government says it wants to combat voter fraud. However, there were no ‘personation’ cases at these elections and last year just 13 were recorded by police. So the new policy has made a negligible problem about a thousand times worse.

Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg recently warned “parties that try and gerrymander end up finding that their clever scheme comes back to bite them, as dare I say we found by insisting on voter ID for elections”. This ridiculous, unnecessary and undemocratic obstacle to voting should be scrapped forthwith.



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