Fringe Box



Letter: Guildford Residents Need to Know the Impact of New Photo ID Electoral Law

Published on: 23 Mar, 2023
Updated on: 23 Mar, 2023

From Brian Creese

Chair of Guildford Labour

See: Voter ID Is Here – Awareness Campaign Ramps Up

As I hope all Dragon readers now know, the local elections on May 4 will be the first that require those voting in person to have photo ID in order to vote.

There is no evidence of any significant voter fraud in the UK, and the law has been changed simply as a disincentive to groups less likely to vote Conservative, particularly young people.

That said, we won’t know the actual impact of this until May 4.

I asked GBC Democratic Services about how they plan to monitor the impact and received a reassuring reply: “The staff at the polling stations will have to note all the details of any elector refused a ballot paper for lack of or incorrect ID, they will also have to note if those electors return and vote.

“The staff will also be tallying the number of Voter Authority Certificates that are used at the polling station.”

However, the following was rather less reassuring: “This information is being collected for the Department of Levelling Up and we will pass it on to them as far as I’m aware we will not be allowed to pass this information to anyone else.”

So we, the residents of Guildford, will not have any idea how much impact this new electoral law has had in our own elections.

It is entirely possible that in some wards the number of voters turned away will be greater than the majority for the winning candidate, but we will not know that.

Will this law impact younger or older people most? We will not know. The borough council will, the government will but we, Guildford residents, will not.

Whatever our differences I am sure all readers of Guildford Dragon will be appalled by this anti-democratic decision. Surely this information belongs to us all and we need to have it as soon as possible?

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