This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
MORE than a fifth of polling stations involved in yesterday’s controversial anti-fraud pilot scheme turned away voters because they did not have required ID, researchers reported today.
Labour is demanding that the government drop the scheme urgently as it overwhelmingly affects disadvantaged people.
The Democracy Volunteers group deployed observers in five council areas — Bromley, Gosport, Swindon, Watford and Woking — where the scheme was being tested.
It found that voters had been refused a ballot paper in 21 per cent of polling stations, and nearly one in 60 voters across the five areas were unable to vote because they did not have the required documents.
Labour says the scheme, which the government wants to roll out nationwide, would overwhelmingly affect citizens without official papers — such as those of the Windrush generation infamously hit by Theresa May’s “hostile environment” policies.
Shadow minister for voter engagement and youth affairs Cat Smith said: “There was absolutely no case for introducing voter ID in the first place but, after today’s fiasco, it is impossible for the government to justify rolling it out.
“We cannot allow the Conservative Party to undermine our democracy, which is why Labour is calling on the government to scrap their voter ID plans as a matter of urgency."
In March, a group of 40 charities and academics had demanded that the scheme be scrapped because Electoral Commission figures showed there were only 28 allegations of voter fraud out of almost 45 million votes last year, with just one conviction.
Their letter to the government warned that voter ID rules would “affect young people, older people, disabled people, transgender and gender non-conforming people, BAME communities and the homeless.”
Electoral Reform Society chief executive Darren Hughes said: “Today has shown these trials to be the chaotic, undemocratic mess many predicted. There is mounting evidence from the pilot areas that ordinary people have been denied their democratic right to vote because of the voter ID requirements.
“This is exactly what we feared: that this draconian measure would result in blameless individuals being disenfranchised.
"Electoral fraud is a serious matter, but the government is taking entirely the wrong approach.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.