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Voter Suppression

From Simon David Stewart

Friday, 14 May 2021

The Conservative government not content with the distorted majority they received at the last election due to our first past post system of voting want to further degrade our election system, and right to vote, with mandatory photographic ID. They speciously claim that this is to protect the integrity of the vote, claiming a problem.  This is a fraud, not voter personation.

The effect will be to discourage those without photographic ID, or having to apply for such, from voting.  Don't be poor, disabled, disadvantage, or from a minority community and have little or no access to a passport or driving licence, the Tories don't want you voting.

In trials in a previous local election where such ID was required to vote, up to 30% of voters with insufficient ID did not come back to vote: voter suppression, vote stealing, in action.

If the Tories were genuinely concerned with the integrity of our voting system, rather than this ID fraud, they would be providing sufficient funds to ensure there is a comprehensive and up to date electoral roll of all eligible voters.  Not trying to steal your right to vote!

From Jae E

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Simon Stewart: Thanks. Yes, I agree: apparently, there were shown to have been 4 - yes 4 incidences of voter fraud in the '19 election - and 2 of those were incorrectly documented by the public!  Unless we stop these charlatans in their tracks . . . FULL PR would be a good start!  

From Tim M

Monday, 17 May 2021

I think it's well worth writing to our local MP about this one. You may have read reports about sleaze and cronyism 'not being mentioned by constituents... Voters just don't care'. Perhaps it's time to demonstrate that 'we care' about efforts to restrict who can vote. Our MP's parliamentary contact details are here.

From Pedro de Wit

Monday, 17 May 2021

"The effect will be to discourage those without photographic ID, or having to apply for such, from voting.  Don't be poor, disabled, disadvantage, or from a minority community and have little or no access to a passport or driving licence, the Tories don't want you voting." 

Reading the above I don't worry  about voting...

Without an ID you can't:
-get books from the library
-open a bank accounts
-get a buss pass
-buy or rent a house
-Get a job
-Fly on an airplane
-Drive a car
-Pick up a parcel from the PO
etc etc

If you can't do any of those things, not being able to vote is the last thing to worry about.

What I find upsetting is the small-mindedness of people who believe that the poor, disabled, disadvantaged, or people from minorities are incapable of applying for something simple as an ID. 

From Tim M

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Perhaps Pedro might be convinced by the US experience, where making voting more difficult is very much a tool to suppress voting by certain constituencies. Here's the Washington Post on it

From Anya G

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Pedro wrote: Without an ID you can't:
-get books from the library
-open a bank accounts
-get a buss pass
-buy or rent a house
-Get a job
-Fly on an airplane
-Drive a car
-Pick up a parcel from the PO
etc etc <<<


You don't need photo ID for all of those. I don't have any photo ID but I do have a library card, bank accounts, a bus pass, rented accommodation, and I can pick up a parcel using either a bank card or a formal letter with my address on, eg, a bill, bank statement, letter from DWP etc.

I choose not to drive or fly due to environmental concerns, anyway.  So not having photo ID at the moment doesn't have negative effects on what I need or want to do.

Thankfully I have a postal vote, and I can't see any way they can make that dependent on photo ID. But it is worrying if voting in person would depend on it.

There are probably a lot more people then you think living without photo ID.

From Graham Barker

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

If we didn’t have a voting system and one had to be designed from scratch, it wouldn’t be the essentially trust-based system we’ve got now, where one can walk into a polling station with no ID whatsoever, give a name and address and be handed a ballot paper. It reminds me of the similarly trust-based house viewing system years ago, where if you wanted to look at an empty property the estate agent just gave you the keys and off you went. That would be unthinkable now. 

It’s claimed that levels of proven voter fraud are low, so let’s not try to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. The problem is that the current system assists in making fraud undetectable. If I go to vote and an imposter has beaten me to it, I’ll kick up a fuss. But if I acquiesce, for whatever reason, to someone else using my vote, the system won’t recognise it as long as the ‘borrower’ isn’t stupid. 

Life teaches that any system will be fiddled if at all possible so yes, the current system needs upgrading. More restricted use of postal voting may be necessary. Photo ID as sole proof may be impractical but as Pedro points out, proving who we are and where we live is now a routine part of everyday life, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to apply it to the voting system. 

From Tim M

Monday, 24 May 2021

This is all a bit 'if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about' isn't it? Let's be clear about what's being proposed. This is not a standard, compulsory European-style ID card, it is a barrier to voting which will disproportionately affect marginalised groups - the very people who most need their voices heard, whilst consolidating votes for the ruling party.

With voter turn out at 67.3% in the last general election (and much lower in locals) barriers to participation are a much graver threat to democracy than non-existent voter impersonation. Those claiming these measures are about cleaning up our system are at best either naïve. Those proposing it are determined to rig the system, no matter what cost.

From Pedro de Wit

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

For most Europeans the voter id debate is pointless because it is self-evident that when someone goes to vote they should provide a photo ID. That has nothing to do with voter suppression, it is common sense. No different to having a photo ID driving licence in order to prove that it is you who passed the exam.

From Tim M

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

But, Pedro, where's the evidence of a problem? It's an awful lot of money to spaff against the wall (£40 million has been mooted over five years) and you haven't addressed the risk of voter disenfranchisement. Without a compulsory (and free) national ID card this will always be the case. Far better to target actual electoral fraud, viz the abuse of spending rules - where real crimes are occurring year in, year out. As I said before, if you think this is about stamping out fraud, you are very much mistaken.