Labour MP Nadia Whittome nails the reason Boris Johnson wants to introduce voter ID

boris at queen's speech

The government has been slammed over its plans to introduce laws that will require voters to take an extra step at election time to make their voices heard.

This is part of the government’s commitment to ‘renewing democracy’ and ‘ensuring the integrity of elections’ laid out in the queen’s speech on 11 May.

The plans, which will require voters to have a form of ID, have been criticised for making it more difficult for people to use their right to vote. Labour MP Nadia Whittome nailed why the Tories want to introduce the measures:

Who it will hurt

The government has said that people will not be expected to pay for ID, and a free option would be available. However, MPs from opposition parties said putting any extra barriers in the way of voting could decrease turnout, urging against the move.

A trial scheme for voter ID was run during local elections in 2019 – 1,968 people were turned away for not having ID on them. More than a third – 740 – didn’t come back.

Looking to voter ID laws in the US, evidence shows that introducing such legislation in Wisconsin saw the lowest turnout to vote in 20 years in Milwaukee. Nearly two-thirds of Black people in Wisconsin live in Milwaukee.

This is just one example. With minority voters less likely to have appropriate ID in the first place, the requirement will have a discriminatory and disproportionate impact on the electorate.

US civil rights groups have already explained how voter ID requirements could hurt democracy in the UK. Director of voting and elections at Common Cause Sylvia Albert said:

They try to say that they want to protect the integrity of the election, but the reality that our elections have strong integrity. By doing this you’re actually undermining their integrity.

Instituting aspects of voter suppression, including voter ID, is allowing the politicians to choose their voters, and that is not the strength of a democracy.

Unnecessary obstacle

Furthermore, these obstacles are being put in place without any evidence that they’re actually necessary.

According to the Electoral Commission, just 595 cases of alleged voter fraud were investigated during 2019. Of these, only four led to a conviction and two to police cautions. The commission has stated itself:

The UK has low levels of proven electoral fraud.

There remains no evidence of large-scale electoral fraud in 2019.

It has previously been estimated that it could cost up to £20m to introduce the need for voter ID per election.

A dangerous waste of time

With even Tory MPs calling the proposals pointless, this move will only make it more difficult for people to use their right to vote.

It could particularly affect voters who are less likely to support the government – this kind of insidious and unnecessary voter suppression cannot be allowed.

Featured image via YouTube/The Telegraph

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  • Show Comments
    1. The ‘Free Alternative’ mentioned will be out out for consultation – benefitting Boris’ friends. Then, when they’ve decided how to do it it will be put out to tender. The ‘preferred bidder’ will also be connected to Boris. The contract will be poorly put together, there will be issues on getting them produced on time and they won’t be, people will be disenfranchised who don’t have an alternative. Eventually it will be put in place but will be so difficult to satisfy the requirements and it will cost money by the back door so people won’t take it up. Eventually it will be forgotten and very quietly scrapped a few years later. They will still have voters needing to identify themselves but with no free alternative the disenfranchised will grow. Of course the major problem with this is that people have to know, have to care and have to have the time to get ID. The government knows this well and expects to benefit in some key marginals. Does this also apply in devolved nations? If so will it only apply to GE votes. This is the question no one is asking (or answering) Many other things ARE ‘England Only’ like the bill to prevent protest for example..

    2. Oh this goes much much deeper than this.

      Do bear in mind that the last GE was BY FAR the most voter frauded election for over a century in England – we are talking literally MILLIONS of fraudulent votes.

      Ahh, do I hear some but, but, buts…?

      Voter ID wouldn’t have helped. Because these were fraudulent MAIL IN ballots. Tories and their mates in UKIP went around the retirement homes, and carefully signed up all the people no longer capable of saying “No” to their fraud – especially in the swing seats.

      The next year the Tories then murdered 10s of thousands of them at least partly to bury any evidence, although undoubtedly ‘saving’ on care and pensions was also an aim.

      So, what will be the likely result of voter ID? More mail in ballots, and more cover for their their future intended frauds – and less turnout at the polls where there is at least SOME oversight.

      What new measures are there against mail-in ballot fraud? Why, none at all.

      How about that??

    3. Labour MP Nadia Whittome nails the reason Boris Johnson wants to introduce voter ID
      Well, I will just say to Labour plus other parties in the H.O. Commons Now
      That are all public SERVANTS to their voters Just like all Tory party members
      are they also are all public SERVANTS-ONLY to us voters.
      Green + Independent + other party-members
      Including all party members in House of Lords.
      All of you get together and STOP this Tory C**p in its tracks Now
      Tory Govt have taken already our rights away + freedom to protest freely
      On matter like this on our streets so H.O. Commons his where we residents of U.K. -N-Ireland -Scotland -Wales SHOULD be represented by our elected Party M.P. in H.O. Commons. We Know Boris + his dodgy Minister will try to get this into law by voting on it within their party members only by way of back room votes in Parliament.
      The following below could ‘UNFOLD’ now voters if this law is passed by Tory party members ONLY voting on it behind closed door in Parliament. Therefore, I ask all elected parties’ members within Parliament and standing as elected M.P. in H.O. Commons to STOP this C**p now work together as this is our last bit of freedom our public votes the Tory Govt is hell bent on controlling to stay in power now then we all will be put under marshal law Like China -Russia show your I.D. to go Out -go for a P**s-go to Shop -catch a Bus to shop in town area border point between local area council will start to pop up with the new boundary changes already in place by Tory Govt could now be over seen by private armed forces personal run by Ms Patel rules her new Protest laws are being voted on now residents of U.K.

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