A Tooting MP has criticised the Government over their plan to introduce mandatory photo ID for voters.
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, Labour MP for Tooting and Shadow Mental Health Minister, said the plans will “strip away the rights of the most vulnerable”.
As part of wider vote reform, the Conservative Government recently proposed a Bill which will require all voters to provide photo ID before casting their vote.
Dr Allin-Khan MP said: “Our elections must be free and fair, without interference or fraud.
“The Government plans to make people show ID before voting in order to cut down on voter fraud.
“This Government is set on stripping away rights from those most vulnerable when voting should be accessible to everyone.
“Democracy should have no barriers. What we are now seeing is a move to make voting available for only the privileged.
“The Government’s plan will suppress turnout. It will disproportionately impact ethnic minorities and it will weaken our democracy.
“Labour will have no part in that.”
Labour analysis of data provided by Wandsworth Borough Council showed that, in the 14 elections held since 2010, there have been zero cases of electoral fraud across Wandsworth.
The Government’s proposed system could be similar to the one that has existed in Northern Ireland since 2003, where voters must show photo ID at the polling station before receiving a ballot paper.
The acceptable forms of photo ID are:
– UK, Irish or European Economic Area (EEA) driving licence
– electoral identity card – a free card issued by the electoral authorities (using a much wider range of ID)
– various types of passes issued by Translink, the public transport provider
At a Downing Street press conference, Boris Johnson was asked about suggestions that Labour voters are less likely to have suitable ID and whether the policy could be “a way to suppress votes for people who would not vote for the Conservative Party”.
The prime minister replied that that was “complete nonsense and what we want to do is to protect democracy, the transparency and integrity of the electoral process”.
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