Letter to Editor: Vital we spread news that government changed rules for how we vote.

Politics / Thu 2nd Mar 2023 at 12:09pm

Dear Editor,

WITH elections coming up in Harlow it’s vital we all spread the news that the government have changed the rules for how we vote.

From May you must show photo ID at the polling station to cast your vote, so make sure you’re not caught out.

The Electoral Reform Society reported that over 2 million people in the UK lack the types of ID the government are demanding. Voter ID risks the very principle of free and fair elections. One voter being turned away is one too many. 

If I turned up to vote and someone had used my ballot I’d certainly complain, but there were only 33 allegations of fraud out of over 58 million votes cast in 2019 (the last time we all had a vote) [https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/campaigns/voter-id/]. 

Almost certainly more voters will be turned away than ever lost their vote to this incredibly rare crime. It’s like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut – destroying your kitchen table in the process.

Yours sincerely, 

Nicholas Gunning,

Halling Hill,

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10 Comments for Letter to Editor: Vital we spread news that government changed rules for how we vote.:

James Griggs
2023-03-02 14:00:12

It's worth noting that you do not require ID for a postal vote. You can apply for a postal vote via the Government Website using the snappy link below https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1003093/Postal-vote-application-form-English.pdf

View from Afar
2023-03-02 16:07:36

If you don’t have photo I’d there are other ways you can use to be able to vote: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/voter-id

View from Afar
2023-03-02 16:14:33

There are other ways to vote without photo id, see link below: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/voter-id

Richard Adams
2023-03-02 16:24:11

I generally disagree with this new legislation but we are where we are so I guess we have to make the best of it. Check out The Gov.uk website for all the details ( https://www.gov.uk/how-to-vote/photo-id-youll-need ) or Harlow Council pages ( https://www.harlow.gov.uk/voting-and-elections/how-vote ) In simple terms it's a driving licence, passport, bus pass, a PASS card or a blue badge card. They do not have to be current. There are other acceptable documents so check out the web sites for everything that is acceptable. If you cannot produce a photo id then you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate or apply for a postal vote. If you turn up on the day without the required identification then you will not be allowed to vote. Don't lose your right to vote it is important.

2023-03-02 17:04:32

Richard Adams sets it out clearly. Most countries require some form of voter ID, and although voter fraud is not a major issue, it has increased and undermines democracy, so we should welcome steps to impede fraud.

Bob Cryer
2023-03-02 21:02:02

I always vote. That will now come to an end with the need to carry photo id. Voter fraud is not an issue. Terrible decision.

2023-03-03 11:06:37

I don’t have a problem with this, but I am curious why they have not addressed the issues around postal voting.

Mark Gobell
2023-03-03 21:28:49

April 2005, Birmingham, UK : The Electoral Commission : Judge slates 'banana republic' postal voting system https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2005/apr/05/politics.localgovernment A senior judge made a scathing attack on the postal voting system yesterday, condemning the government for complacency in the face of fraud which would disgrace a "banana republic". Richard Mawrey QC, presiding over a special election court in Birmingham, warned that there were no realistic systems in place to detect or prevent postal voting fraud at the general election. "Until there are, fraud will continue unabated," he said.

David Forman
2023-03-08 01:39:55

I wonder how the British public coped with identity cards during World War 2? Having worked in The Netherlands I know that identity cards are needed to access services and to vote. Strange then that the Labour luvvies who are busting a gut to get us back into Europe should not wish to follow established practice in Europe regards voting?

David Forman
2023-03-08 02:04:00

Forgot to say that in the 2019 Euro elections in the Netherlands the documents required to vote were: "ID card, passport or driver's license, and your voting pass." The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe produced a scrutiny report on the Dutch parliamentary elections of March 2021 arising from changes to the administration of the election because of Covid. Not a single mention of identity documents being a barrier to a fair and democratic election! See for yourself at: https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/netherlands/493360

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