ERS comment on Electoral Commission’s report on impact of voter ID

Responding to the Electoral Commission’s report on the impact of voter ID on the 2023 local elections, Dr Jess Garland, Director of Research and Policy for the Electoral Reform Society, said:

“Today’s Electoral Commission report gives us a clearer picture of who was turned away from voting due to voter ID rules at the local elections and shows that it was disabled and unemployed voters as well as people from an ethnic minority background and younger people who bore the brunt.

“This paints a picture of a damaging and disproportionate policy that is affecting some voters more than others.

“However, this could be just the tip of the iceberg because, as the report highlights, data collection on who was turned away on the day was patchy – so far more people may have been affected than the headline 14,000 figure.

“Ultimately, we should be trying to increase turnout at elections and improve access to voting, not putting unnecessary barriers in front of people.

“Our concern, as raised in the report, is that voter ID could cause more serious problems at a general election, where turnout tends to be different.

“We would urge the government to reverse this unnecessary policy or, at the very least, make wide ranging-changes to it to ensure we don’t see thousands of people being prevented from casting their vote in a general election.”