Ruth Davidson swears about voter ID proposals in May
Many will head to the polls next month to vote in the local elections. A change to the law in England means it is now a requirement for voter ID to be shown at polling stations for general, local, police and crime commissioner elections and referendums. But do you think voter ID will reduce the turnout? Vote in our poll.
The Elections Act 2022 was created to reduce voter fraud, despite low records of such crime. Most forms of photo ID will be accepted including a British passport, driver’s licence, over 60s bus pass and a disabled driver’s blue badge.
However, a former Cabinet Minister has warned that turnout on May 4 is at risk due to the new requirements. David Davis said the policy risks having a “more deleterious effect” on voting.
The former Brexit Secretary told The Mirror: “I opposed it [Voter ID] when it was proposed. It seems to me it is trying to solve a problem that’s not really there”.
Speaking about its impact on turnout at the upcoming local elections he said: “The only direction it can move it in is down. If people turn up and they either haven’t got an ID with them or they don’t own an ID at all – in both circumstances it will reduce the likelihood of them voting.”
He added: “It will undoubtedly reduce the turnout. Whether it’s by a fraction of a percent or more than that is impossible to tell at this point in time.”
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Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner has also criticised the rollout, claiming that ministers are “failing in their duties” to make the public aware of the new “unnecessary” policy.
An estimated two million people could be disenfranchised from voting as they do not hold a valid form of ID. Such individuals can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate before April 25.
Voters in Scotland and Wales will be subject to the voter ID laws at the next general election, after October 2023. The policy has been common practice in Northern Ireland since 2007.
So what do YOU think? Will voter ID will reduce turnout at local elections? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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