U.K. Government Voter ID Plans: Trading Democracy for Security?

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By Sam Gazeley | 2Q 2019 | IN-5510


Undermining the Right to Vote?


The U.K. electorate partook in local council elections on Thursday, May 2, 2019, the same day as the general election in 2015. This time, however, the ballots for some voters have significantly changed.

As part of a cabinet office mandate, voters in the council areas of: Braintree, Broxtowe, Craven, Derby, Mid-Sussex, North Kesteven, North West Leicestershire, Pendle, Watford, and Woking were instructed to provide a form of photographic identification before they could cast their ballots. The original plan for the pilot had 12 councils taking part; however, before the pilot even took place, both East Staffordshire and Ribble Valley councils withdrew from the program, citing limited resources and time constraints as explanations.

The result of the pilot was 819 voters being turned away from the polling booths, demonstrating a risk of disenfranchisement with the electoral process in future ballots.


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