Boris, Boris vote suppressor

Boris, Boris vote suppressor

Compulsory voter ID is a solution looking for a problem

The Government’s plan to make it compulsory to provide photo ID before you can cast your vote would be a good idea if voter fraud was a problem and there is simply no evidence that it is.

This would be flagged if people turned up at polling stations and found that someone had voted already using their name and address. In these cases this is all recorded and over the entire country at GE2019 there were fewer instances than Westminster constituencies – i.e less than 650 nationwide. Of those just a handful led to prosections.

Sure most people have some photo ID – a passport, a driving licence or even an old person’s bus pass. But perhaps a tenth don’t have that readily available and this could stop them voting as experiments carried out by the Electoral Commission have shown. The idea, I understand is that those that don’t have a photo ID could apply to their local authority before the election – all of which would make voting much harder.

The fact that there is so little evidence suggests that Johnson is pursuing the plan for partisan reasons – he thinks the Tories would suffer less and would therefore give the party an electoral advantage. Whether that is the case or not I don’t know but the measure could be impeding his own voters who are generally much older than the average.

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