In last week’s Queen’s Speech, the Government confirmed its intention to bring forward the Electoral Integrity Bill which is expected to include requiring voter identification to clamp down on personation fraud (where someone pretends to be another person and casts a vote) and maintain confidence in our electoral system.
This will mean voters will have to show photographic identification to be able to cast their vote.
I welcome the introduction of this Bill. I have always found it remarkable that no identification is required to vote. The first time I voted I took my passport and my polling card. I was shocked to find that nothing was needed for something so important. Indeed, there are greater identification checks required to pick up a letter at the post office than when attending the polling station to vote.
The Electoral Commission has itself rightly raised concerns about the vulnerability of polling stations to personation fraud.
There has been a comprehensive body of work over a number of years on this issue and pilots have found that that there is no impact on any particular demographic group from this policy. The Government has also confirmed that there will be a free, local Voter Card for anyone who does not have one of the required forms of photographic ID, such as a passport or driving license.
It is most welcome to see further steps progressing to continue to strengthen our constitution and to ensure we can have confidence in our electoral system.