UK plans 11 voter ID pilots for 2019


In November 2018, the UK government announced that 11 local authorities across England would participate in Voter ID pilots in the interest of gaining "further insight into how best to ensure the security of the voting process and reduce the risk of voter fraud". Five local authorities participated in pilots in the 2017 general election. The new pilots will test four models of identification checks: photo ID (Pendle, East Staffordshire, Woking), photo and non-photo ID (Ribble Valley, Broxtowe, Derby, North Kesteven, Braintree), traditional poll cards, and poll cards with scannable barcodes (Mid-Sussex, Watford, North West Leicestershire). Separately, Peterborough and Pendle will run tests studying the security of postal votes and the guidance supplied with them, and proxy voters in Peterborough will be required to show ID. The government notes that Northern Ireland has required paper ID to vote since 1985 and photo ID since 2003, and claims that there has been no adverse effect on turnout or participation. In Essex, at the end of January 2019, Braintree resident Neil Coughlan began a legal challenge to Voter ID, arguing that the scheme contravenes the Representation of the People Act 2000 by restricting voter rights.

Writer: UK government, Neil Coughlan
Publication date: 2018-11-03, 2019-01-29

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