Ex Green Party leader nails the real scandal behind the thousands prevented from voting

Natalie Bennett and a sign outside a Polling Station.
Support us and go ad-free

Thousands of would-be voters were unable to vote at the recent local elections because they failed to produce the correct ID, according to the Electoral Reform Society.

Polling stations in five council areas – Bromley, Gosport, Swindon, Watford and Woking – ran mandatory voter ID trials during the local elections on 3 May. The Electoral Reform Society claims that almost 4,000 voters were turned away for not having the correct ID. It says this represents 1.67% of those who tried to vote.

But former Green party leader Natalie Bennett nailed a deeper scandal behind the figures:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Wrong ID

There were numerous stories of people who had been turned away. In some cases, people had ID, but it was not considered the correct form:

“Crackdown on fraud”

The government claims that voter ID trials are part of a “crackdown on fraud”. However, the Electoral Commission found that in 2017, there was just one conviction for voter personation [pdf,p1] – that is, pretending to be someone else when voting. That year, 44.6m votes were cast in the UK, making the rate of personation fraud just 0.000063%.

“Draconian”

Darren Hughes, chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

It is a dark day for politics when thousands of blameless people turn out to vote only to be refused…

These findings are exactly what many feared: that this draconian measure would result in blameless individuals being disenfranchised…

There have been people who have voted their entire lives but were denied that right yesterday because of these ill-thought-out trials.

There have been suggestions that the voter ID trials are aimed at removing the vote from those less likely to vote Conservative.

Labour MP David Lammy also summed up the situation:

The Electoral Reform Society has described mandatory voter ID as “a solution in search of a problem”. Voter fraud is simply not an issue in the UK. As Bennett states, there are a range of far more important issues that need tackling if we’re serious about election fraud.

The government needs to bin the voter ID scheme before anyone else loses their right to vote.

Get Involved!

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

– Read and support other independent media outlets:

Media DiversifiedNovara MediaCorporate WatchRed PepperNew InternationalistCommon SpaceMedia LensBella CaledoniaVox PoliticalEvolve PoliticsReal MediaReel NewsSTRIKE! magazineThe Bristol CableThe Meteor, The SkwawkboxSalford StarThe Ferret.

Featured image via Wikimedia/EdinburghGreens and  Wikimedia/secretlondon123/

Support us and go ad-free

Do your bit for independent journalism

Did you know that less than 1.5% of our readers contribute financially to The Canary? Imagine what we could do if just a few more people joined our movement to achieve a shared vision of a free and fair society where we nurture people and planet.

We need you to help out, if you can.

When you give a monthly amount to fund our work, you are supporting truly independent journalism. We hold power to account and have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence the counterpoint to the mainstream.

You can count on us for rigorous journalism and fearless opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right wing mainstream media.

In return you get:

  • Advert free reading experience
  • Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
  • 20% discount from our shop

 

The Canary Fund us

Comments are closed