Electoral Integrity Bill: Voter ID Set to Become Mandatory in UK Elections

TOPSHOT - Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his dog Dilyn leave from a Polling Station, after he cast his ballot paper and voted, in central London on December 12, 2019, as Britain holds a general election. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
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The British government is planning on requiring voter ID for elections by the year 2023, in one of the biggest reforms to the electoral system in recent memory, a report claims.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is set to require that voters present some form of identification, such as a driving licence, passport, or even library card at the polls, fulfilling a manifesto pledge from the Conservative Party ahead of the last general election.

The requirement will be folded into the government’s planned Electoral Integrity Bill, which The Sun reported will be introduced to the parliament in the coming months and is expected to be in place before the 2023 elections.

Under the current system, voters are merely asked to provide their name and address, without any verification, before they are allowed to vote. Ministers hope that a voter ID will give the public greater confidence in the electoral process.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson told the paper: “We will be introducing new measures, as part of the Government’s manifesto commitment, to prevent the potential for voter fraud in our electoral system.

“This will further strengthen the integrity of UK elections and will include ID checks at the polling station and rules that prevent abuse of postal and proxy votes.”

The list of identification documents will also reportedly include documents such as library cards in order to prevent lower-income people from being stripped of the franchise, given there is a nominal fee associated with acquiring a learner’s driving licence or a passport.

Those who have no form of identification at all will be able to contact their local council prior to election day to verify their identity and receive a free form of ID.

During a series of ten “voter ID pilots” conducted by the government across England in the 2019 May elections, less than one per cent of voters were turned away for lack of proper identification.

Yet, the Labour Party — like the Democrat Party in America — is firmly opposed to any such measures, claiming that voter ID requirements are racist and tantamount to voter suppression.

Labour’s Shadow Minister for Democracy, Cat Smith said: “It doesn’t matter how the government dresses it up, these plans will make it harder for working-class, older and Black people to vote.

“Giving people a say at the ballot box helps make our democratic country what it is, and we must not do anything to undermine that.”

In response to the claims of racism from the Labour Party, a senior fellow at the Policy Exchange think tank and political commentator Calvin Robinson, told Breitbart London that he finds it “incredibly patronising of them to use black people as an excuse.”

“To suggest voter ID would discriminate against black people is essentially the Left saying black people aren’t capable of obtaining ID. I find that implication incredibly offensive,” he said. 

Mr Robinson, who has himself been the target of left-wing racism and even called a “race traitor” for publicly expressing conservative views, added that the issue of voter ID exposes the double standards of many on the Left.”

“We’re seeing calls for vaccine passports, restricting people’s freedoms and access to everyday services until they receive a mandatory vaccination. At the same time, they insist it’s discriminatory to implement voter ID regulations.

“Surely both positions can’t hold true unless they’re admitting to wanting to discriminate against some individuals but not others,” Robinson noted.

“If voter ID would help prevent voter fraud, why wouldn’t Labour want to implement it? That’s a question I hope many Labour voters are asking,” he concluded.

No specific information has yet been released on new regulation and protections will be placed on the postal voting system, despite widespread reports of voter fraud.

In a notable example of electoral fraud, supporters of Britain’s first directly-elected Muslim mayor, Luftur Rahman, were found to be found to have been “buying votes with public money, and committing postal vote fraud on an industrial scale,” according to one of the petitioners who successfully voided his election.

Local Muslims in the area were reportedly pressured into supporting Rahman through “undue spiritual influence” — an offence in UK law — in which people were told it would go against their faith to vote against a Muslim candidate.

2016 report commissioned by former Communities Secretary Sir Eric Pickles revealed election authorities in the UK regularly “turn a blind eye” to voter fraud in areas with high Muslim populations over fears of “political correctness”.

Sir Eric said: “Our nation has a proud heritage as the ‘Mother of Parliaments’, yet the worrying and covert spread of electoral fraud and state of denial by some bodies threatens that good reputation. It is time to take action to take on the electoral crooks and defend Britain’s free and fair elections.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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