• This topic has 156 replies, 64 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by Cougar.
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  • Voter Suppression coming to the UK
  • Premier Icon PrinceJohn
    Free Member

    So it looks like in order to help maintain their grip on power the Conservative govt is going to bring voter ID – despite the electoral commission saying there is very little issue with it.

    Yet another attack on our freedom by this government.

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Full Member

    Straight out of the Bannon playbook.

    It is voter suppression pure and simple. There is absolutely no evidence that voter fraud is a problem, so making this a priority send a clear message.

    One question, will these powers extend to devolved elections, Scotland already has different rules around voter franchise?

    Premier Icon intheborders
    Free Member

    One question, will these powers extend to devolved elections, Scotland already has different rules around voter franchise?

    Yep, 16-17 y/o for example.

    IMO it’s gerrymandering full stop.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    Get your postal votes sorted now. And if your kids are reaching voting age, help them get theirs ASAP.

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    This is definitely A Bad Thing

    Premier Icon p7eaven
    Free Member

    Yet another attack on our freedom by this government.

    The US-style patriot/nationalist/freedumb warrior has long been an unspoken ‘model’ for UK policies and culture. But we still love being lorded over by actual lords rather than just the super-rich.

    It’s one of the reasons we were never ‘comfortable’ in the EU. The old exceptionalism runs deep and long, and the ‘old guard’ will of course guard it jealously.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Free Member

    Are they even trying to justify it, or was it just buried in a pile of other rules and voted through?

    Premier Icon peteimpreza
    Full Member

    “The Guardian is reporting that the government will this week announce plans to make the public show photo ID before voting in general elections.”

    From the BBC reporting on a news paper article.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    This needs shouting about loud and long.

    Let’s see data comparing voter fraud versus those that don’t have photo ID. I let my passport lapse last year and have just renewed by driving license, but a huge number have neither.

    (Although I’d have no issue if everyone had to have photo ID like on the continent.)

    Premier Icon drinfinity
    Free Member

    Trailed as part of Queens Speech. Very US republican gerrymandering. Also likely to go to First Past the Post for mayoral elections to try to stop anyone else winning those too.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/may/10/queens-speech-photo-id-future-elections-social-care

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    Also reported they want to change mayoral elections to First Past the Post as they stand a better chance of usurping Labour under that scheme.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    “Voter photo ID”

    aka

    National Identity Card proposal in via the back door?

    So many wins on that front for big business and big data.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    I have no problem with a (free) national ID card. Plenty of other democratic countries seem to manage.

    But voter ID with our current system is simply voter suppression. The story seems to be gaining traction on social media, as much from the satirical news sites as anything else.

    Ironically, neither of my 80 year old Tory voting parents have current passports or driving licenses, so maybe the law of unintended consequences will kick in?

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Full Member

    Very US republican gerrymandering

    Point of order. Gerrymandering* is an entirely separate thing to do with redrawing voting boundaries to favour the party drawing the boundaries.

    ID checks are straight up voter suppression

    *Don’t worry they are having a good look at gerrymandering using boundary changes too

    Premier Icon Trimix
    Free Member

    Can someone explain why its not a good idea to ask for ID when voting ?
    Almost everyone will have a passport / ID card / driving licence anyway ( I would imagine very few wont and even fewer who want to vote wont have some form of ID)

    For most people voting is quite important, so why not show your ID to prove its you who is voting ?

    I don’t understand why this is a big issue.

    I suppose it supresses those with no ID or fraud. But what’s so wrong about that ? All governments will benefit from voting being taken seriously and for it to be free of fraud.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    Almost everyone will have a passport / ID card / driving licence anyway

    There’s your problem. You don’t understand the demographics of the UK. A lot of people have none of those. The young, the old, the disabled, the poor, the greenest. More still might not be able to find theirs on the day. Or forget to take it to work in the morning, hoping to get their vote in after a long shift. Why give people an extra hoop to jump though to vote? There is no evidence it is needed, and be should me making it easier, not harder, to vote. You are right that the most political active, those who already see voting at all occasions as important, will make sure that they have the ID required ready well in advance, and to hand on the day… but most people are convinced that their vote doesn’t matter, and these “casual” voters can at the moment be encouraged to just rock up and vote… they don’t need a poll card or ID. It doesn’t need to be made harder to get people to engage and vote.

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Full Member

    and we should me making it easier, not harder, to vote.

    This 1000%.

    I’d prefer the Australian idea, but there’s no chance of that…

    Premier Icon phead
    Free Member

    It comes from a recommendation from the independent electoral commission:

    “Voters should be required to show ID at polling stations in Great Britain to tighten up the security of the voting process, the elections watchdog has said.

    The Electoral Commission will now develop detailed proposals for how the scheme should work.

    Evidence collected by the Commission in its review of electoral fraud revealed that fraud is not widespread in the UK but, despite this, a significant proportion of the public remain concerned that it is taking place.

    This has the potential to undermine confidence in the electoral system if not addressed. The Commission considered views on a number of options to tighten the electoral system against fraud and is today publishing its final report.”

    Of course its already a thing in NI, and most of Europe.

    Premier Icon somafunk
    Full Member

    Almost everyone will have a passport / ID card / driving licence anyway

    There are 11m citizens in this country who do not hold a passport or driving licence, these citizens are exactly the type of voters the id system is being brought in to suppress

    Premier Icon Murray
    Full Member

    Almost everyone will have a passport / ID card / driving licence anyway

    Except my 91 year old mum who lives in a care home so has no car and hence driving licence. Her passport renewal was turned down (presumably because she was born in India) although she’s had a passport since she was 18, served in the British Army and worked as a social worker in the UK. Hopefully she can stay under the radar and not get deported to a country that she left in 1947.

    This classic voter suppression. Expect the postal vote to become harder to get “to prevent voter fraud” next.

    Premier Icon slackboy
    Full Member

    It comes from a recommendation from the independent electoral commission:

    so to summarise:

    “the thing people are worried about isn’t happening, but because they are worried about it, rather than telling them it isn’t happening we’re going to put up barriers to people exercising their right to vote.”

    Wonderful.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    a significant proportion of the public remain concerned that it is taking place

    I’ll take a punt at this… there is no evidence of fraud being a problem, but many voters can be convinced that it is a problem (guess who they in the main vote for), and those voters have the ID (own a car or two, take a foreign holiday or two a year) so think it reasonable to insist on showing an ID, because it won’t be a problem for them to show their ID. Many don’t even realise that millions of people in the UK don’t drive or get to go abroad, so why wouldn’t they back a measure that is not even needed, but causes no problem for them in their bubbles.

    Premier Icon Trimix
    Free Member

    OK, fair point – it should be easy. But its equally important to vote for most people. Is getting ID that hard ?

    Those 11m who don’t have ID, are they one type of voter ?
    Are they likely to not be tory voters then ?

    It is important to make voting simple, but it should still carry some weight and formality, I still don’t see why asking for ID is not a good idea. I suppose I don’t have a problem with having ID either, but do those 11m people want to vote ?

    Will their missing votes sway the outcome. Apparently only 43.6% of people voted in the last election, that’s 47 million. Will the 11m be of one type and sway that ?

    Premier Icon n0b0dy0ftheg0at
    Free Member

    England, if not the whole of the UK, needs Proportional Representation pronto.

    The AV that was rejected in 2011 surely has to be better than this current system where in many constituencies, people often tactically vote, rather than voting for what they really believe in. So disappointing that 68% rejected it on a turnout of just 42%.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    Those 11m who don’t have ID, are they one type of voter ?

    No.

    The disabled.

    The young.

    The old.

    The poor.

    The greenest amongst us.

    Premier Icon hels
    Free Member

    I am not sure this would apply to Scottish parliament elections – any other changes e.g extending suffrage to 16/17 year olds have been subject to an Act of the Scottish Parliament.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    “the thing people are worried about isn’t happening, but because they are worried about it, rather than telling them it isn’t happening we’re going to put up barriers to people exercising their right to vote.”

    And then we can tell them it is their fault, as we put a system in place for them.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    Trimix
    Free Member

    Almost everyone will have a passport / ID card / driving licence anyway

    Nope. In 2018, the government’s own study showed that 7.5% of the electorate have no suitable ID, even when allowing weak standards of ID like travel cards and proof of age cards. When restricted to strong ID that goes up to 13%. (that’s 3.5m voters and 6m voters respectively)

    And of course there’s biases in that. Frinstance, a study found that amoung people with no drivers’ licence, 57% vote Labour, 27% vote Tory. Black britons are the ethnic group least likely to hold a passport.

    Here’s the real reason though:

    https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/content/uploads/2019/10/Elise-electoral-offences-chart-2048×1298.png

    266 reported cases in 2018. That’s not “266 incidences of fraud”, that’s 266 complaints. There were 3 cautions or convictions. Of course cases will go undetected but that’s the metric we have.

    There is no possible world in which voter ID prevents a significant amount of fraud, because there’s no evidence that there’s a significant amount of fraud to prevent. And in return it will prevent many times more legitimate votes.

    How many times? Hard to say- we don’t know how many of the people disenfranchised would have voted, and there is bound to be other fraud that we’ve not detected, so that brings it down. Thousands of legit votes to prevent 1 case of fraud, though.

    So just to state the obvious, 1) The people calling for it have done the maths, they know it’s not a real issue which means they also believe that it’ll hurt their opponents and help them.

    And 2) the stats above are for voter fraud, not election fraud. They don’t include failing to declare electoral spending or falsely claiming it was spent in other areas. They don’t include misleading claims, or the 20 criminal investigations against Tory MPs in 2015. Weirdly nobody calling for voter ID is also calling for a stronger Electoral Commission. The most common form of identity fraud in our elections is bot attacks, but the same people are strangely quiet about that…

    https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/109C7/production/_109493086_borissyntax.jpg

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Is getting ID that hard ?

    It can be very, depending on your situation. Food on the table or that Passport I only need to use for voting every 5 years?

    Are they likely to not be tory voters then ?

    See above and imagine if they are a Conservative voter.

    Premier Icon Trimix
    Free Member

    OK, that make sense then, its a tiny problem and there is a surprising amount with no ID. Thanks for the info.

    Premier Icon poly
    Free Member

    Can someone explain why its not a good idea to ask for ID when voting ?
    Almost everyone will have a passport / ID card / driving licence anyway ( I would imagine very few wont and even fewer who want to vote wont have some form of ID)

    I don’t think anyone would suggest that being more confident that the person turning up to vote is entitled to do so is fundamentally a bad thing, but as far as anyone knows the level of voter fraud is tiny so if anyone is looking to make it harder to vote probably should be suspicious what the alterior motive is as it probably isn’t going to massively reduce fraud.

    For most people voting is quite important, so why not show your ID to prove its you who is voting ?

    I don’t understand why this is a big issue.

    I suppose it supresses those with no ID or fraud. But what’s so wrong about that ? All governments will benefit from voting being taken seriously and for it to be free of fraud.
    You’ve made the classic mistake of assuming that everyone is “just like you”. Probably a tiny number of people on STW have no government issued photo id, however across the population there’s an estimated 11M people who do not have current passport or driving license (and 3.5M who could not readily provide their ID with other documentation that is acceptable – 8/10 forms of ID I couldn’t provide!). Older people, teenagers, ethnic minorities, are disproportionately affected. The poorest in society are least likely to have a passport for foreign travel or a driving license – they are more likely to be refused the right to vote. So if you believe the party making this decision is doing so for “electoral security” you may want to We really want to get everyone voting, not be putting barriers in place. Your “very few who want to vote won’t have ID” comment was quite revealing…

    In the limited trials in very small areas over 800 people were turned away at polling booths, whereas there are <50 allegations of voter fraud across the whole country at each general election. Forgot your ID – sorry you don’t count (how many can be bothered to come back later?). Lost your ID and no time for a replacement – sorry you don’t count. Lost your ID and can’t afford a replacement – sorry you don’t count. Live in a controlling relationship where a partner stops you from getting easy access to your documents – sorry you don’t count (same is likely true for plenty of children who’s parents don’t think they should be trusted to vote!).

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

     Is getting ID that hard ?

    Depends on what ID will be acceptable really.

    Premier Icon intheborders
    Free Member

    Point of order. Gerrymandering* is an entirely separate thing to do with redrawing voting boundaries to favour the party drawing the boundaries.

    Expect they’re redrawing them using technicalities. So I’m still happy it’s a relevant ‘phrase’.

    Premier Icon Houns
    Full Member

    I don’t have any valid photo I.D. Passport expired years ago and don’t intend to travel abroad anytime soon and have better things to spend money on. Use the old paper driving licence, again have better things to spend my money on, it’s still valid.

    Having been unemployed due to ill health at various times over the last 10 years, and having money issues associated with it, the last things I wanted to buy is some forms of needless I.D.

    If this ridiculous proposal goes through then I’ll be registering for postal voting

    Premier Icon benpinnick
    Full Member

    Maybe once upon a time it was messing with the vote, but the demographics have changed – I would say they’re shooting themselves in the foot with this one.

    Premier Icon Greybeard
    Full Member

    I would have no problem with everybody having government issue photo ID (Boris opposed them) but unless we do, it’s discriminatory to require photo ID for any purpose other than the one the ID was issued for. You don’t have to have a passport, and even if you have a driving licence, there are still a lot of us with the old paper ones (no risk of them going out of date). But opening a bank account without photo ID is much harder.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Full Member

    Would an expired passport not still be valid? It’s still you in the picture, and as long as it matched the name on the paper, that should be fine, no?

    But yeah. Not a good thing.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    Can someone explain why its not a good idea to ask for ID when voting ?

    Can you explain why it is?

    A point I’ve not seen mentioned yet is, it’s simply not necessary. You register to vote, the polling stations have a list of eligible voters in their ward, you go to vote and they cross you off. It’s not like you can keep popping back or get your mates to do so to register multiple votes, it’d be immediately apparent.

    Almost everyone will have a passport / ID card / driving licence anyway

    My mum doesn’t drive and the last time she went abroad was in the 1970s. What photo ID do you suppose she might have? I suspect her student union card might be a bit out of date by now.

    And as others have said, with so many disenfranchised people in the country we need to be making this process more accessible. Plenty of people who don’t yet have photo ID no doubt could, but I would be astonished if the number who would do so purely to vote would be in any way statistically significant. I likely wouldn’t.

    It does rather beg the question also, who’s paying for all this? A national photo ID scheme would require serious infrastructure and cost a fortune, and we’re not exactly at our most financially brilliant right now.

    Premier Icon igm
    Full Member

    Interesting. @phead ‘s quote was from 2014.

    It also says that most of the electoral fraud is associated with candidates and campaigners, presumably handling post votes not turning up multiple times. Photo ID won’t sort that.

    In 2018 that same Electoral Commission, having done some trials, said:

    ”We also know from previous analysis and feedback from other organisations such as Mencap and RNIB that some groups of people may find it harder than others to show a passport, driving licence or travel card as part of a photo identification scheme. We have some limited evidence from these pilots that younger people and those who don’t always vote were less likely to say that they would find it easy to show identification. More work is needed to make sure these people can easily get the right kind of identification to be able to vote.”

    And they’ve probably said other things since then – but note the prerequisite “make sure these people can easily get the right kind of identification to be able to vote.”

    Are the current bunch of corrupt scoundrels going to do that?  Doubt it.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Would an expired passport not still be valid?

    No. Once its expired it ceases to be valid. Mine expired in between producing it with my driving license at an interview and having to produce it, with my driving license, when I started the job. So I had to produce several other bits of ID instead.

    Lots of people haven’t bothered renewing passports as they don’t intend to travel any time soon and its £80 to renew – why would you? Quite a lot of people don’t drive so don’t have a license – my lad is 18 and just passed his test but quite a few of his mates didn’t bother getting a provisional license last year as they couldn’t get lessons or tests, a couple don’t want to learn to drive for ecological reasons, and obviously if you can’t afford a car and foreign holidays you won’t have either.

    All those people suddenly not able to vote, predominantly poor or idealistic. Yeah, can see why that would appeal to Boris while they engineer the constituency boundaries….

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