Voter ID plans – 28 September 2021

Understandably, there is a great deal of concern about the Government’s Voter ID plans.

I strongly condemn the Government’s plans to pass legislation requiring voters to present photo ID at polling stations.

These plans are clearly discriminatory and a blatant attempt by the Tories to suppress voters, deny people their democratic rights and rig the result of the general election.

The people this Government are targeting will be, disproportionately, ethnic minorities and working-class voters of all ethnicities.

11 million people in this country don’t have a passport or driving licence, so it is very clear that introducing a Voter ID requirement is discriminatory and a blatant attempt to suppress BAME, the elderly and poorest from voting.

The Government is saying that Voter ID is needed to tackle voter fraud, however there was only one conviction of in-person voter fraud in 2017, after a total of 44 million votes were cast.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) made five recommendations after observing the 2017 general election, none of which referred to any need for Voter ID but did recommend “annual limits on the amount a single permissible donor may contribute to a political party or a candidate, in order to prevent undue influence of large contributors”.

Over 1,100 were denied a vote in 2018 & 2019 as a result of the Conservatives’ voter ID pilot schemes, which were trumpeted as a success by the Government.

Suppressing voter turnout will simply shut people out of our democracy and it must be stopped. I voted against Voter ID on 7th September, but the Government unfortunately had a majority, and the Bill passed its second reading.