By Sally Underwood •
Published: 14 Mar 2021 • 10:43
Boris Johnson Warned Against Introducing Photo IDs to Vote. Image: Wikimedia
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been warned he risks discouraging voters if he introduces photo IDs.
The government is expected to introduce a bill in the spring to make photo IDs mandatory for all UK-wide elections from 2023, however the prime minister has been warned the plan ‘risks locking millions out’ of elections.
Campaigners opposing the change have called the bill unnecessary because of low levels of voter fraud in the UK. They also believe it could unfairly impact ethnic minorities and working-class people.
Government data show that those without photo identification are disproportionately people from BAME and working class communities.
Alba Kapoor, Policy Officer at the race and equality think tank Runnymede Trust, told one publication: “This bill risks locking millions of voters out of our electoral system.
“The government’s own data shows that Black, Asian and minority ethnic people are less likely to have a form of photo ID and face being turned away at the ballot box as a result of this legislation.”
The Cabinet Office have said any voter without access to photo ID will be able to apply for an electoral ID from their local authority for free.
However, some critics have questioned the need for such a bill when there was only one conviction for voter impersonation after the 2019 general election.
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