Thank you for contacting me about voter ID.
A secure electoral system is a vital component of a healthy democracy and the public must have confidence that our elections are secure and fit for the 21st century. Asking voters to bring ID to their polling station is an important way of achieving this – although it will not be introduced in time for this election in December.
Voter ID is not new. Northern Ireland had required paper ID at polling stations since 1985, and photo ID since 2003 – introduced by the last Labour Government. It has proved to be effective at tackling fraud and has not curtailed election turnout.
Identification to vote has been backed by the Electoral Commission and international election watchdogs. At present, it is harder to take out a library book or collect a parcel at a post office than it is to vote in someone else’s name.
In pilot schemes earlier this year and in 2018, the overwhelming majority of people cast their vote without a problem and the success of the pilots proves that this is a reasonable and proportionate measure to take, and there was no notable adverse effect on turnout.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP
5th November 2019