As part of last week’s council elections, at selected polling stations, there was a trial of a voter ID requirement in order to be allowed to vote.
There are several problems with this trial:
- Some people do not have photo ID (driving licence or passport) and there is a higher percentage of non-Tory voters who do not have such ID
- The trial did not require photo ID but many staff and potential voters didn’t know that (non-photo) ID such as bank cards were acceptable to be allowed to vote
- Polling stations where the trial took place were in wards whose result could directly affect which party would have control of the local council
- The trial had not been tested legally before going ahead
- There is negligible voter fraud in UK elections and, thus, absolutely no need for Voter ID
According to the Electoral Reform Society about 4000 voters were denied the right to vote.
The Tory government’s imposition of ID requirements to be able to vote is designed specifically as voter suppression. They know that people without driving licence or passport are more likely to not be Tory voters. It is a deliberate plan that copies the intent of a plan used by Secretary of State of Kansas Kris Kobach. Kobach’s intent and tactics have been exposed in federal court: Kobach voter suppression.
The ID trial is just a pantomime, the first of a double-tap before the ID requirements are expanded to the whole of the UK. The trial is fake; it is not intended to produce data or to be analysed. It happened so that, later, the Tories can say “well, we had a trial.”
Voter suppression is a cowardly act. It is an admission of failure and an extreme display of contempt for the public. It is not surprising that the Tory government would stoop to its use.