From The Independent: Tory Government plans to introduce voter ID checks are to be challenged in court on the basis they deter people from voting.
From Full Fact:
In a single day across five councils, twice as many people didn’t vote due to having incorrect ID, as have been accused…
From The Guardian: A controversial trial of forcing voters to show ID could have been illegal because it was incorrectly imposed by ministerial diktat rather than through parliament, senior barristers have said.
The legal opinion by two barristers from Blackstone, a leading chambers in London, concluded that ministers acted beyond the scope of the law in ordering the trial of compulsory voter ID in five boroughs in England at last month’s local elections.
If upheld by a formal court challenge, the view could prevent any further trials or a national rollout of voter ID taking place without the formal consent of parliament, which could prove difficult given objections to the idea.
The scheme, in which people in Bromley, Woking, Gosport, Watford and Swindon were forced to show varying types of ID before being allowed to vote, prompted concern from charities, who warned it might put off more vulnerable groups such as elderly people and the homeless.
It was also criticised as a solution in search of a problem after it emerged that none of the trial boroughs had reported any cases of voter impersonation in recent years.
From The Independent: An estimated 4,000 people were turned away from casting their vote in the five areas trialling controversial voter ID checks.
Voter ID checks ‘calculated effort’ by Tory government to make voting harder for disadvantaged groups, warn experts
From The Independent: Tory Government plans to tighten voter identification measures appear to be a “calculated effort” by ministers to make voting harder for people from disadvantaged backgrounds, experts have warned.
From The Guardian: Tory Government plans that will force people to prove their identities at polling stations in May’s local elections risk disenfranchising members of ethnic minority communities, according to a leaked letter to ministers from the equality and human rights watchdog.
In a move that will fuel controversy over the treatment of migrants in the UK following the Windrush scandal, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has written to the Cabinet Office minister David Lidington, raising its serious concern that the checks will deter immigrants and others from participating in the democratic process.
Under the new government voting rules, being trialled in several local authorities at the 3 May local elections, people will be asked at polling stations to produce documents proving their identity – such as a passport or driving licence – before casting their vote. Currently, no such proof is required.
The EHRC says evidence of supposed fraud is minimal and warns that there is a real risk that legal residents who might not have a passport or driving licence – or might be reluctant to produce them at polling stations – could be disenfranchised as a result.