By Robert A. Vella

In the U.S. over the last eight years or so, critics of Republican voter id plans asked the following question:

Why do you want new voter id requirements?

The question was typically answered by Republicans with vague claims about “massive voter fraud” favoring Democrats.  Those claims elicited numerous electoral studies which showed voter fraud to be statistically irrelevant (See:  Myth of Voter Fraud).  Furthermore, Republican politicians have been caught on several occasions admitting their true motives for pursuing new voter id laws and other policies designed to suppress voter turnout in a targeted, discriminatory manner (See:  Some Republicans Acknowledge Leveraging Voter ID Laws for Political Gain).

Now, the same tactics are being pursued in the U.K. where the Tories (i.e. conservatives) are facing a mounting backlash over the Brexit fallout as well as the painful consequences of their aggressive austerity policies.

From:  Voter ID checks ‘calculated effort’ by government to make voting harder for disadvantaged groups, warn experts

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.

In its first in-depth analysis of the plans, the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) said mandatory ID checks at polling stations would “disenfranchise” millions of voters who do not hold any form of photo ID – often due to financial reasons.

Based on research of voter ID checks in the US, the study found the policy, which will force members of the public to show ID before voting, mounts “sizeable barriers” to ethnic minority and lower socio-economic backgrounds wishing to vote.

Figures suggest 3.5 million people – 7.5 per cent of the electorate – do not have access to any form of photo ID, while even more (11 million) do not have a passport or driving licence.

The report also suggests that a pilot study to be conducted in several areas of the country – most of which are in the south-east and have below-average unemployment rates – will provide insufficient data to assess the impact of a UK-wide roll-out.

Darren Hughes, chief executive of the ERS, said: “It’s hard not to see this as a calculated effort by the government to make voting harder for some citizens. As such it’s vital we think about the risks these changes pose to a free and fair franchise in the UK. We need policy based on hard facts – not rumour and innuendo.

“With millions of people lacking the right photographic ID – and no government plans for a universal, free alternative – this can only mean another barrier for honest voters. The government know this, which makes this policy all the more concerning.

“These deeply flawed trials must not be a fait accompli for the government’s plan to roll out an ill-thought policy. Mandatory voter ID is a sledgehammer to crack a nut. It’s time for an evidence-based approach instead.”

The warning comes after a study by the Electoral Commission found just 28 allegations of someone having lied about their identity at a polling station in 2017, despite almost 45 million votes having been cast – suggesting concern about voter fraud is overblown.

9 thoughts on “U.K. provides another case study for the political motives behind Voter Id requirements

  1. Yep. I won’t say “Told-ja so” 😉 because all you have to do is actually TALK to the “accused” fraudful minorities about their DAILY struggles and how many of them don’t even understand how our government truly works on the federal level, but even more so the state level (in Texas? HAH!) when they don’t speak fluent English or can’t read sophisticated English, and so the LEAST of their major concerns are the biennial and quadrennial campaigns (which are already too complicated to understand well the propaganda spouted) and voting methods! It just doesn’t register (no pun intended) in their short-term immediate needs! They are trying to earn decent wages and how to put a meal on their family’s table!

    The Republican’s ficticious voter-fraud ruse is purely and simply manufactured bullshit. 💩 If they’d ever spend anytime in those impoverished non-caucasin communities and find out face-to-face what REALLY matters to those people/families, they’d realize that their fairy-tale deception is ridiculously, blatantly, unequivocally BOGUS!!! Intelligent liberals know this, we just have to find equally cunning methods to unveil the corruption and undemocratic tactics of the wealthy. This is my personal opinion from a lower-middle-class background, a Free-thinking Humanist and political Independent. 😁

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  2. Or is it (in UK) a trick to disenfranchise the elderly? A significant proportion of the population, who usually vote, and are entrenched against many of the government’s pet policies. Also least likely to have photo ID in the form of passport or driving licence.

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  3. Wow. A few years ago Canadians were forced to get rid of their old health insurance cards to be replaced with photo ID health cards – and they were issued FREE. I’m shocked that the UK will pay for prescription drugs for everyone but not free photo ID health cards. Glad I live in my very imperfect country of Canada.

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