There is no evidence’ to justify new scheme, expert says, as Labour accuses Johnson of attempting to rig the next general election
The government has announced plans to prevent people from voting unless they can provide photographic identification, prompting accusations it is attempting to “rig the next election”.
Under plans unveiled in the Queen’s Speech, Boris Johnson’s Conservatives will require voters to produce photographic ID at the ballot box for parliamentary elections and English local elections, in what critics have called a “dangerous and undemocratic” reform.
A trial of the scheme in local elections this year saw 800 people reportedly turned away from polling stations, leading Labour to urge the policy be “abandoned immediately”. On Monday, shadow voting minister Cat Smith claimed the announcement was a “blatant attempt by the Tories to rig the result of the next general election”.
Voter ID, intended to “tackle electoral fraud and protect our democracy”, is among a number of electoral changes the government is seeking to introduce. Under the scheme, anyone who does not have photographic ID will be able to apply for a free document proving their identity.
But Darren Hughes, of the Electoral Reform Society (ERS), said “these plans will leave tens of thousands of legitimate voters voiceless”.