Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Will Identify cards solve voting fraud?

I have always wondered why you are not expected to take your voting card with you to the polling station to vote. 
But I am far from convinced that plans to demand proof of identity by other means before voting is fair and the right move to combat  the issue
Councils in England, including Bradford and Birmingham, will trial the pilot scheme at local elections in 2018.
The government said it would "ensure the integrity" of the electoral system.
Campaigners said levels of fraud did not justify the move while Labour said it amounted to voter "suppression".
Different local authorities will trial different types of ID, including driving licences, passports and utility bills. The creation of a new form of ID specifically for voting has been ruled out by ministers.
Constitution minister Chris Skidmore said fraud of any kind was unacceptable and dismissed suggestions that the plans, which could be rolled out across the whole country if successful, could disenfranchise poor people who do not have ID.
"Voting is one of the most important transactions you can make as an individual. In many transactions you need a proof of ID."
"I'm determined to ensure, when it comes to groups who are under-registered, that they get the opportunity to exercise their vote," he added.
"Ensuring those communities are protected, that the risks of electoral fraud are diminished, will ensure those individuals are represented fairly across this country.
 The reform was first touted by former cabinet minister Sir Eric Pickles in August, when he released recommendations amid growing concerns about electoral fraud.

In his report, Sir Eric cited research suggesting certain Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities could be more vulnerable to fraud due to a lack of understanding of the voting process.
He highlighted "kinship" traditions, saying they emphasised collective over individual rights and made it more likely that people would "hand over" their vote over to others.
But even if this was true isn't the problem largely with postal voting?
Actual false representation at the polling station seems to me be far les of a problem.
It used to be a joke in Northern Ireland that Party supporters were encouraged to vote early and vote often.
To combat this The Northern Ireland Electoral Identity Card is a photographic identity card issued by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland, used primarily to prove the holder's identity when voting at a polling station in Northern Ireland.[1] Although the card's primary purpose is to prove identity and age while voting, it is also widely accepted as valid proof of age at most bars, clubs and alcohol retailers in Northern Ireland.

There  are the four  other acceptable forms of photographic identification?

They are: A current Northern Ireland or Great Britain full driving licence or a Northern Ireland provisional licence, all of which must bear the photograph of the holder.
A current passport issued by the United Kingdom or any other Member State of the European Community.
A current Senior SmartPass issued under the Northern Ireland Concessionary Fares Scheme.
A current electoral identity card.

Similar iidentification are needed to get the Identity  Card  but if you do not have one If you do not have photographic identification to send in with your application, you can ask an MP, MEP, MLA or Councillor to complete the declaration below and send it in with your form.

This seems a bit weird it means that political parties could have some control over those applying.

So the Identity card is largely for those who have none of the above though it seems they need something like an identity indication tom apply for an ID card see here.

Why is there a need to have trials when part of the UK already have a system in process.

We could ask

  • Has the NI system led to a reduction in accusation of voting fraud.?
  • What is the take up and is there an easier way people could apply?
  • Does the NI system adversely affect any part of the population?
  • Does the need for a elected representation for those who do not have proof of identity to apply for the card lead to to much power by political parties?
As someone who welcomed by over 60's bus pass not only for the free travel but it helps solves my lack of passport or driving licence when it comes to proof of identity. I am fully aware of the problems people will face in proving their identification.

But is the government  new scheme really about combating fraud  or an attempt to disenfranchise section of the population as has been alleged.

It seems that this is a gimmick  and if they were really serious then they should consider the current postal voting system.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Of more concern to me is the postal vote system. With postal votes comming out a few weeks before the election I feel we are having two different elections. Nearly everyone who receives a postal votes within days of receiving their voting papers. As campaigns develop and other themes are tested those that have voted by post are unable to consider these points as they have already voted.