UK to Mandate Voter ID in Elections as Police Investigate Fraud Allegations

HARTLEPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 06: The first Ballot boxes arrive at the Mill House Leisure Centre in Hartlepool after polling stations close and the verification and count process begins for the Hartlepool By-election on May 06, 2021 in Hartlepool, England. Hartlepool will decide between returning a Labour Party MP, who …
Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Amid allegations of voter fraud in last week’s elections, Boris Johnson’s government will reportedly roll out a series of electoral reforms, including requiring voter ID, in the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday.

The Queen’s Speech, which outlines the government’s legislative priorities for the year, will reportedly include mandated voter ID for general elections as well as limits on the number of postal (mail-in) ballots individuals can collect on the behalf of voters, according to The Guardian.

The recently re-elected Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan came out against the proposed reforms on Monday, telling LBC Radio: “Boris Johnson is borrowing policies from the U.S. It’s a backwards step.”

Other Labour Party politicians also criticised the move as racist, including Nadia Whithome MP who said: “Requiring photo ID to vote when 1 in 4 don’t have it will stop people from voting. But that’s the point. Because this isn’t about stopping voter fraud — it’s about disenfranchising the young, the poor, and people of colour. People less likely to vote Tory.”

Contrary to leftist MPs’ claims, however, a series of ten “voter ID pilots” were carried out by the government throughout England during the 2019 May elections and less than one per cent of voters were turned away for not having proper identification.

Voter ID is already required in Northern Ireland, and in many European countries.

Meanwhile,  Thames Valley Police announced an investigation late last month into “multiple” accounts of alleged postal voting fraud in the London suburb of Totteridge ahead of the May 6th election:

The police force has received tip-offs from the public of people going “door-to-door” in Totteridge to encourage people to use the postal vote (mail-in ballot) system, as well as actually collecting postal votes.

In a statement, the investigating officer Detective Constable Katie Taylor said: “It is paramount that we protect the integrity of the vote and we are taking these reports extremely seriously.”

“I’d also like to remind the public that you should never hand over your postal ballots to anyone. The ballot is for your vote and it is illegal for anyone to use your ballot for their vote,” DC Taylor added.

The police force confirmed that they are currently investigating the allegations of malfeasance and called upon witnesses to come forward.

“Anyone with information can contact Thames Valley Police by calling 101 or you can make a report online, quoting reference 4321077351,” Taylor said.

Mail-in voting was greatly expanded in Britain in 2001 by former Labour prime minister Tony Blair, garnering significant controversy following instances of voter fraud.

In a notable example, supporters of the United Kingdom’s first directly-elected Muslim mayor, Luftur Rahman, were accused in 2015 of “buying votes with public money, and committing postal vote fraud on an industrial scale.”

Allegations of potential wrongdoing in last week’s election have also been levied by members of the Reform UK party, including its leader, Richard Tice, who said: “We saw it last Thursday at [a] polling station in Tower Hamlets: person carrying [an] armful of postal votes into polling station… legal but open to corruption.”

“Perhaps [the] clue is in the name… if you need [a] postal vote, then post it, don’t let it be collected and filled in by others,” Tice suggested.

Reform’s deputy leader, Dr David Bull also shared footage which he alleged showed Labour Party activists campaigning at a polling station in Tower Hamlets, and that their behaviour was prohibited under election law.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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