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Voter ID led to racial and disability discrimination

(166 Posts)
MaizieD Mon 11-Sep-23 11:18:27

A report by a parliamentary All Party Group, or APPG, (this is not an official parliamentary group in the same way that a Select Committee is; it's a special interest cross party group) has found that there was both racial and disability discrimination implicated in voters being refused a ballot paper under the new voter ID legislation.

The Electoral Commission has already found that at least 14,000 voters were turned away at polling stations (these being the ones refused a ballot paper by the poll clerks; it doesn't account for those turned away before they entered to polling station)

While a report co-author concludes that the rules need revising I am (as you might expect) more inclined to think that they should be done away with altogether. Disenfranchisement is a very serious harm to the individual and to democracy.

The report, which has been seen by the Guardian, says: “The current voter-ID system is, as it stands, a ‘poisoned cure’ in that it disenfranchises more electors than it protects.”

The authors found that “polling clerks are more likely to fail to compare a photo ID to the person presenting that document if the person is of a different ethnicity”.

They also highlighted the case of Andrea Barratt, who is immunocompromised and was blocked from entering a polling booth after refusing to remove her mask for an identification check.

The report says: “Their decision in that instance was … clearly discriminatory (and potentially unlawful) because they denied Andrea Barratt the right to cast a ballot purely on the basis of circumstances which arose as a direct result of a disability.”

Whitewavemark2 Mon 11-Sep-23 11:24:05

They were warned.

They don’t care

Whitewavemark2 Mon 11-Sep-23 11:24:50

I bet here was age discrimination as well.

Sparklefizz Mon 11-Sep-23 11:30:14

How would you prevent voter fraud which we know has happened in the past?

MaizieD Mon 11-Sep-23 11:43:26

From an Electoral Commission overview of electoral fraud over 5 years:

In the past 5 years, there is no evidence of large-scale electoral fraud.

Of the 1,386 cases of alleged electoral fraud reported to police between 2018 and 2022, 9 led to convictions and the police issued 6 cautions.

Most cases either resulted in the police taking no further action or were locally resolved by the police issuing words of advice.

Now please explain why it was necessary to disenfranchise at least 14,000 voters, and to allow the possibility of racial and disability discrimination on the strength of 9 convictions and 6 cautions (cautions being more serious than the general public realise) over 5 years? Disenfranchisement is far more likely to skew the result of an election than is practically non existent voter fraud.

Sparklefizz Mon 11-Sep-23 11:48:36

MaizieD Now please explain why it ......
Actually I don't have to explain anything. I asked a question and you tried to answer it.

Oreo Mon 11-Sep-23 11:56:55

Where’s the hard evidence?
Saying that polling clerks are more likely to fail to etc is not evidence.
The case of Andrea Barrat wasn’t discriminatory, she could have a postal vote.Of course they refused her if she wouldn’t unmask so they could have a quick peek.What does she do at passport control in an airport?
I’d be wary of this report.The next time around for voting people will be more aware of what they need to do to cast their vote in person, but can always do the easy thing and vote by post.

MaizieD Mon 11-Sep-23 12:04:32

I think that the fact that the report still supports voter ID makes their conclusions more valid than if they they were recommending abolishing voter ID.

Ilovecheese Mon 11-Sep-23 12:07:52

Then it has done what it was intended to do.

DiamondLily Mon 11-Sep-23 12:26:35

Hmm. I'm a pensioner and disabled - neither prevents me from proving who I am.

If I wanted to, I could have a postal vote. Many disabled/older/other people use this system.

Our local council advertised, for months, how everyone could get a free ID card, so cost wasn't an issue.

I have to prove who I am to do a lot of things, especially with government/banking, so I can't see the need for the fuss.

This issue is not a hill I'd choose to die on in battle. The system is here to stay now.

ronib Mon 11-Sep-23 12:36:14

Bear with me but if I were immunocompromised my preferred option would be a postal vote. In fact we have had postal voting for a number of years.

MaizieD Mon 11-Sep-23 12:48:24

I'm afraid that personal views of what one would do contribute nothing to the debate. Every individual has the right to choose to vote in whatever way they would like to. It's not up for criticism.

Whitewavemark2 Mon 11-Sep-23 13:07:43

The question is

Was it necessary to prevent voter fraud.

The answer


Mollygo Mon 11-Sep-23 13:15:41

Before there was postal voting, people complained that they were disenfranchised because of physical disability, or being on treatment or suffering an illness that meant you were immunocompromised.
We now have postal voting.

Grantanow Mon 11-Sep-23 13:24:00

It's totally unnecessary given the lack of evidence for voter fraud. It's political parties that need watching.

biglouis Mon 11-Sep-23 13:30:25

I dont drive so Ive just paid best part of £100 for a new passport purely for ID purposes as I dont intend to travel abroad again.

Bodach Mon 11-Sep-23 13:41:53

Having been presiding officer on two different elections when voter ID was required (the first one was a pilot), I encountered nothing but strong support for the ID rules from voters - even from a couple of individuals who had forgotten to bring any, and whom I had to turn away until they came back with their ‘leave to remain’ photo ID documents.

nanna8 Mon 11-Sep-23 13:46:50

Electoral commission investigating voter fraud ? Something dodgy there for a start. Should be an independent body. Not saying there is fraud but really they should be above suspicion in their ‘investigations’

Doodledog Mon 11-Sep-23 13:50:06

It is not easy for many people born after 1982 to get a passport, which they need if they don’t have a driving license. First they need to know someone in a professional role to countersign their application, and not everyone does. It’s probably the case that those who don’t will also struggle to find the £100 plus the charge for a photo, too. Then they need to have the passport numbers of their parents plus their birth certificates (originals) to prove that they are British citizens. If their parents are dead, or don’t have passports (again probably more likely in poorer families) that would be an almighty faff - enough to put a lot of people off voting. As young people are statistically more likely to vote Labour it’s clear who stands to gain from this requirement.

ronib Mon 11-Sep-23 13:50:22

MaizieD no every person does not have the right to vote according to their personal method - we are a rule based democracy and if an individual chooses not to remove a face mask then a postal vote is a perfectly reasonable alternative.

Siope Mon 11-Sep-23 14:07:47

Worth also noting that the report says that, without changes to the ID permitted and improved training for those checking, the system could help swing the results of up to 16 constituencies.

It is entirely inappropriate that a badly designed system should be allowed to affect either who governs, or how they do so, which are realistic outcomes as things stand.

maddyone Mon 11-Sep-23 14:11:53


MaizieD Now please explain why it ......
Actually I don't have to explain anything. I asked a question and you tried to answer it.

Good for you with this answer Sparklefizz.
I’m constantly amazed by the audacity of posters who demand you explain or provide links.
It’s not necessary, it’s a social media platform and it’s simply a discussion.
We’re not in a court of law.

HousePlantQueen Mon 11-Sep-23 14:16:23


How would you prevent voter fraud which we know has happened in the past?

Electoral Commission statistics: in 2022 there were 193 allegations. One led to a warning, one has led to court proceedings. Hardly a crime wave

GrannySomerset Mon 11-Sep-23 14:22:19

We have to provide ID for so many things. I need to rewrite my will and am using a new to me solicitor; she wants passport or driving licence plus utility bill evidence that I am who I say I am. Who’d have thought it?

rosie1959 Mon 11-Sep-23 14:22:49

Once upon a time I could travel freely to Jersey without any form of ID on the ferry now I can’t you need ID things change.
Well advertised that you now need ID to vote so if you are keen to vote you will make sure you have it or use a postal vote so why the fuss