Wirral Council is being urged to take part in the new pilot scheme to tackle fraud and corruption in voting. The call follows the publication of a report into voting fraud, following concerns raised in a number of local authorities.
Among more than 50 measures proposed is the requirement for voters to be required to produce a form of ID at the polling station.
The Government has now identified 18 local authorities, most at risk of electoral fraud, which will be invited to introduce the need for ID.
At the same time, the Government is asking other local authorities to take part to enable the full impact of ID to be assessed.
Councillor Chris Blakeley (Conservative, Moreton West & Saughall Massie Ward) has now written to Wirral Council’s Chief Executive asking for Wirral to take part in 2018: He said, “This is long overdue – while we must encourage everyone to take part in voting, we must also make sure the process is secure and that votes can’t be lost or stolen. Asking for ID when voting, as already happens in Northern Ireland, and many other countries, is a common sense way of making sure that voter fraud does not become widespread. It also sends a message that voting is important and that it matters.”
Chris Skidmore, Minister for the Constitution added: “The government’s view is that electoral fraud is unacceptable on any level. I want to protect the right of everyone to have their say and participate in our democracy.”
Among the ID that is considered acceptable will be a UK, Irish, EU, or Commonwealth passport; a UK, Irish, or EU driving licence; other official photographic identity cards, such as a proof of age card; or a locally recognised photographic identification card (e.g. local travel card or pass).
Sadly it seems an unnamed Council Officer has simply said the Council won’t take part. You can read more on that here
“I am disappointed that an unnamed council officer had simply thrown this into the long grass. Under the Council constitution electoral matters are for Wirral’s Licensing Committee to determine and I hope that due process will follow and this matter fully considered by that committee and a democratic decision is made by elected members and not a Counci, officer.
- Government to trial the use of ID in polling stations: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/eliminating-electoral-fraud-in-polling-stations
- ‘Securing the Ballot’ review of fraud in elections: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/securing-the-ballot-review-into-electoral-fraud