EXCLUSIVE: Up to One in Eight Voters Lack Photo ID Ahead of Local Election Rollout of Controversial Policy
Omnisis polling for Byline Times sounds the alarm over May 4 elections covering 230 councils in England, amid fears thousands of voters will be turned away
In the first Mortimer Memo (Adam Bienkov is away):
MORE THAN A FIFTH OF VOTERS IN ENGLAND STILL AREN'T AWARE OF THE NEED FOR VOTER ID IN JUST 20 DAYS.
MAJORITY OF HOUSEHOLDS IN ENGLAND HAVEN'T RECEIVED ANYTHING FROM THEIR COUNCIL ABOUT THE NEW ID RULES
ONE IN EIGHT SAY THEY DON’T OWN A PIECE OF PHOTO ID - BUT THERE ARE BIG REGIONAL DIFFERENCES
STARK DIVIDE REVEALED IN WHAT CONSERVATIVES VS LABOUR VOTERS FEEL ABOUT PEOPLE LOSING RIGHT TO VOTE
With just a few weeks until England's mega-round of local elections on May 4th, new polling for Byline Times has revealed that over a fifth of voters in England still aren't aware of the new mandatory voter ID requirements.
The Tories’ Elections Act 2022 means that for the first time next month, bringing photo ID will be a requirement for anyone voting in England’s local elections, with the supposed aim of improving trust in the voting process.
But any trust could in fact be shattered if large numbers of voters are turned away, as seems increasingly likely.
The new rules mean that anyone wishing to vote must show a piece of approved photo ID before being allowed to cast their ballot. But the move is of huge concern to democracy groups who believe it will disproportionately affect those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
Left in the Dark
While 22% of people across England are unaware of the new ID rules, awareness of the new rules is even lower among younger voters, with 35% of those under 40 across Great Britain unaware of the new ID requirements - compared to only 20% of those over 40. Voters in the Yorkshire and the Humber region and the North West of England are among the most in the dark, with a quarter unaware of the ID requirement.
While not everywhere in England has elections this May (big cities are largely not voting), the poll by Omnisis finds that a majority (53%) of people in England haven’t received any communication from their local authorities about the new ID rules.
Perhaps most worrying however is the scale of potential disenfranchisement. One in eight (13%) adults in England don’t own a photo ID, a figure that is roughly the same across Britain. However, the number is much lower in the largely Tory-voting South East at just 4%. A stark 23% of adults in the East Midlands and 17% in the North West lack photo ID, according to the findings. The figures are far higher than the government’s official estimates of just 4% of voters lacking valid photo identification.
We catch a glimpse of the potential reasoning for the new rules when we look at who is most concerned about people losing their right to vote.
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