Ministers to Propose Voter ID Bill to Crack Down on Voter Fraud
New policies which will require voters to present photo ID at polling stations will be proposed by the Government in the coming months and announced in the Queen’s speech. The new measures were included in the Government’s manifesto and a similar voter ID system was implemented in Northern Ireland in 2003.
As part of the plans, voters will be required to show a form of photo ID when voting at a polling station.
Whilst no definitive date has been set for the implementation of the bill, it is expected that it will take effect by 2023.
Following several pilot studies in 2019, a statement by the Minister for the Constitution Kevin Foster affirmed that “our current system” has “undeniable potential for electoral fraud” and the studies concluded that the measures are “a reasonable and proportionate measure” when mitigating against voter fraud.
Historically, the plans have faced harsh criticism, with many critics arguing that the measures will affect ethnic minority groups. Labour’s Shadow Minister for Democracy Cat Smith stated that “it doesn't matter how the government dresses it up, these plans will make it harder for working-class, older and Black people to vote”. Campaign organisation Electoral Reform UK has criticised the proposals since 2019, calling the plans a “barrier to democracy”.