You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Local authorities to issue free Voter Cards

0
Written by: Emma Lunn
27/05/2021
Legislation will be introduced so that local authorities must provide a Voter Card free of charge where a voter doesn’t have one of the approved forms of photo identification.

The move comes after plans for Brits to have to show photo identification to vote in future general elections were criticised due to the costs of obtaining photo ID such as a passport or driving licence.

At the moment, most voters in the UK don’t need to take any proof of identification to polling stations – you can simply show up and give your name and address.

But in the future voter identification will require voters to prove their identity by showing a form of photo ID, before being given their ballot paper in national and local elections. The change was announced in the Queen’s Speech.

The government is changing the rules as it says the current system allows for “inexcusable potential for someone to cast another’s vote at the polling station”. It says showing ID at the polling station is a “reasonable and proportionate approach”.

The move will bring the rest of the UK in line with Northern Ireland, where a form of voter identification has been in use since 1985, requiring photo identification since 2003.

But civil liberties groups and race equality campaigners say that the new law could deter thousands of lower income and ethnic minority voters from voting, as they can’t afford to buy the necessary identification documents.

What identification will be acceptable?

There will be a wide range of photographic identification which will be acceptable at polling stations.

These include:

  • Various concessionary travel passes
  • PASS cards
  • Ministry of Defence identity cards
  • Photocard parking permits issued as part of the Blue Badge scheme
  • Driver’s licenses
  • Passports
  • Free Voter Cards provided by local authorities

Expired photographic identification will also be accepted if the photograph is of a good enough likeness to allow polling station staff to confirm the identity of the holder.

Local authorities will be required, by law, to provide a Voter Card free of charge where an elector does not have one of the approved forms of photo ID, with the Cabinet Office covering the costs. A similar provision will be established for anonymous electors who will be able to apply for a free anonymous elector Voter Card should they wish to vote in person.

Most European countries, include France, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, as well as Switzerland and Canada, use photo ID at polling stations.

The government has denied claims that people from ethnic minorities are less likely to have photo ID. According to ministers, 99% of ethnic minorities had a form of identification that would be accepted under the proposals.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Rail strikes: Your travel and refund rights

Thousands of railway workers will strike across three days this week, grinding much of the transport system to...

How your monthly bills could rise as the base rate reaches 1.25%

The Bank of England has raised the base rate to 1.25% as predicted – the fifth consecutive rise in just six ...

Low-income pensioner? You could gain £3k top-up

Hundreds of thousands of retirees struggling with a low income are missing out on Pension Credit worth £3,300...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Advertising

Analytics

Other