More than 400,000 people may have been prevented from voting in the general election because they lacked the necessary ID, with those from minority ethnic communities more than twice as likely to have experienced this, polling has suggested.

Of those surveyed by More In Common, 3.2% said they were turned away at least once last Thursday, which if reflected across the UK would equate to more than 850,000 people. Of these, more than half said they either did not return or came back and were still unable to vote.

Among people turned away at least once, about a third had ID that was not on the relatively narrow list of permitted documents; about a quarter said the name on their ID was different to that on the electoral register; and 12% said they were told the picture on the ID did not match their appearance.

The poll of more than 2,000 people across Great Britain, coordinated by the campaign group Hope Not Hate, also indicated that the voter ID rules, used last week for the first time at a general election, disproportionately affected minority ethnic people.

It found that 6.5% of voters of colour were turned away from a polling booth at least once, compared with 2.5% of white voters.

The rule that voters must show photo ID was introduced by the Conservative government as part of its 2022 Elections Act, despite minimal evidence that in-person voter fraud was a significant problem.

Another potential issue is people deciding not to vote, or even register to vote, because they know they lack ID. The polling found that 6% of people said the ID requirements had affected their decision on whether or not to vote and that they then did not vote, which if reflected nationally could mean up to 2.8 million people not voting when they might otherwise have done.

  • warm@kbin.earth
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    5 days ago

    Notice how you can’t use student ID, they introduced this in an attempt to dissuade young voters and the new government need to revert it.

    • HumanPenguin
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      Would not put anything past the Tories.

      But the more logical answer is who is responsible for checking the identity when ID is created. All ID accepted is created by national or local government. Whereas student ID is created by universities or small colleges. With no government authority in the identification. It is hardly an equal comparison.

      Honestly, the whole ID thing is crap. Its fixing an issue that doesn’t exist. But it’s hard to argue rejecting IDs not issued by government is an act of predudice.

        • HumanPenguin
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          60 plus oyster is issued by local gov. Just like disabled bus passes and elderly bus passes else where in the nation. They have the same ID check as any other local auth ID.

          Student ones do not.

          To make the claim, it is intentional. You need a closer comparison.

          IE sopmething that has the same agencies doing the same ID check.

          • warm@kbin.earth
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            4 days ago

            And you really don’t think they considered this? They knew what they were doing.

            • HumanPenguin
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              Not really. Given, student IDs are given to many foreigners. That is far more likely the reason it was excluded.

              But s I say student ID and oyster cards in general are not issued by an authority the gov has control over. So as far as those fighting for it are concerned. Allowing such is freaking pointless As they are not government ID and as such the gov has no say or involvement in the process.

              Elderly and disabled bus passes driving licences passports and new voter ID are ll legal requirement issued under alimentary laws. Elderly oyster cards are just the method London uses to issue elderly bus passes.

              As I keep saying, voter ID is a freaking stupid idea fixing an issue that does not exist.

              But adding student ID or student issued bus passes would take extra laws. IE actually taking over the rules of how uni’s, colleges and private bus companies issue those IDs. Whereas the approved IDs including elderly oyster cards are already under those laws.

              As much as I would not put it past Tories to use anything to limit voters they don’t like. Forcing Uni’s colleges and private companies to follow rules on the issuance of IDs that have zero other legal value or purpose. It would likely piss more Tory funders off while costing the government a freaking fortune to implement.

              I hate giving Tories credit for anything. But there are simply more logical reasons for this than the conspiracy involved.

      • Theoriginalthon@lemmy.world
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        5 days ago

        But who is going to go through the process of obtaining a student ID just to commit voting fraud. Even if they are rotating the person checking the ID once an hour, eventually they will be recognised or get to a point where the person they are impersonating has already voted, all for what 10? 15? extra votes

        • HumanPenguin
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          Agreed. But that is an argument for no IDs.

          IF iDs are used. Well I know some colleges are more willing to avoid checks then others.

          As I say it fixing an issue that fomat exist. The numbers of voter fraud are insanely low. Because there really are few occasions where it is viable.

          But the point on student ID is based on a government claiming it is and voters who believe them.

          The government has no rules at all about the issuance of student ID. Heck I can legally set up a college training folks to be penguins cross humans. And issue IDs to my students. Assuming anyone is dumb enough to sign up.

      • Flax
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        5 days ago

        In Northern Ireland we were always able to send a photocopy of a Student ID to the Electoral Office, they’d check with your school/college and send you a valid “Electoral card” back. Not sure if England had this system in place.

        • HumanPenguin
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          Not sure if England had this system in place.

          Nope. And given it takes actions from the government department. The Tories, and likely now not current labour, would not consider it efficient.

          Tends to be considered down to the applicant to provide the proof. Not the government to go looking.

          But also having worked for small colleges. The only concern they have is will they be paid. So confirming the ID beyond the money source/ Yep, honestly the gov would not trust them. Nor should they. It has been reported, and I have seen small colleges offer training as a way to simplify the visa process. Did not bother me (and was other colleges, not the one I worked with) as I think immigration fears are over played.

          But those that think voter ID is needed. Def would not trust these organisations.

          • Flax
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            You have to send a passport-style photograph and the photocopy, so I think it would be easy enough for the college to see “yes, this person is who they are and in our systems” and obviously the electoral register has its own systems for registration and checking as well, that any large scale election tampering this way would be ineffective.

            Also, the previous system was no ID at all, so I still think a college verifying an ID is trustworthy enough. You could probably pass with a fake ID into voting if you really must fake one. And it’s probably easier than bribing a college.

            • HumanPenguin
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              except if you list the IDs allowed. Bus passes issued by local auth. (actually made by one company local auth just do confirmation) Driving licence and passport. Plus new local auth confirmed election ID that I assume has the same.

              They all have government approved digital NFC chips to confirm them.

              As I say, I think the whole need for voter ID is crap. It is fixing an issue that does not exist. But the claim fakes can be easy to pass. It is at best a short term one due to lack of effort on the Tories part. It seems very likely this and control of the issuance of the IDs is exactly why the government chose the IDs they did. Student IDs are more often than not just laminated cards. And where some UNIS choose to use NFC. Nothing forces them to a standard. Nor are the Tories interested in forcing Uni’s to do so.

              There are many reasons why the gov would not want UNIS and small colleges to be involved. Bribes are certainly an option. But honestly, the simple fact that the Uni loses out by saying no. So, has absolutely no fiscal reason to do complete checks.

              Unlike national and local government, accepting student is the only way higher education makes money. Checking those students will pass (as for nvq level, that is often the only way money is made) is the only work many colleges care about. Who you really are s not a huge concern.

              • Flax
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                4 days ago

                Since when did driving licences have NFC chips? They just looked at my licence, ticked me off and handed me my ballot paper.

    • CrabAndBroom@lemmy.ml
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      4 days ago

      I also noticed how one of the immediate talking points was that Labour’s popularity might look bigger than it is, because of lower voter turnout.

    • Jackthelad@lemmy.world
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      How’s that worked out for them?

      This idea that it’s purely a policy to keep them in power is laughable. They’ve literally just dropped to their lowest number of seats ever.

    • Flax
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      In Northern Ireland we were always able to send a photocopy of a Student ID to the Electoral Office, and have them send you a valid “Electoral card” back. Not sure if England had this system in place.

  • rmuk
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    5 days ago

    Wild idea: Why can’t we use the polling card as the ID?

    Wilder idea: Why can’t the polling card also be a mail-in ballot?

  • Flax
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    Can’t you get a free ID specifically for voting? Northern Ireland has required ID for voting for ages, but it always basically offered a “Electoral card” which was a free ID you could get. It was my first photographic ID as well.

  • Mex
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    5 days ago

    Hopefuly Labour repeal it.

  • downpunxx@fedia.io
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    As a lifelong straight ticket liberal Democrat, I don’t care what anyone says, Voter ID is important in every democracy, the fight shouldn’t be about disallowing or getting rid of Voter ID but making it free and simple to obtain. Period. Not a fight we should be wasting another second or an once more political capitol about. Ridiculousness.

    • li10
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      My understanding was that any tampering by people voting under different names was so ineffective in influencing an election that it’s barely worth trying, and stopping the people who don’t have ID would have a more significant effect.

      If someone doesn’t have ID then they probably just don’t want it or would struggle with any system to obtain ID. They should still be allowed to vote.

      • downpunxx@fedia.io
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        and i disagree with you, if the process of obtaining said ID is free and simple, it’s way past time coddling these people who either refuse or profess hardship, because in my estimation, everyone who votes should have identification

        • li10
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          You haven’t even responded to anything I said, you’ve just gone “I don’t care, I think they should have it”.

          I don’t think they should and I’ve explained my thoughts, so agree to disagree 🤷‍♂️

          • downpunxx@fedia.io
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            agree to disagree (though, again, it saps political bandwidth we should be spending on other liberal issues)

    • gedhrel@lemmy.world
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      Personation DOES NOT HAPPEN. Voter ID disenfranchises; there’s no fraud its preventing.

      • steeznson@lemmy.world
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        Yeah but folks who don’t have ID would probably vote for Reform or the Workers Party, safer to just disenfranchise them… /s

    • Jackthelad@lemmy.world
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      You can get ID for voting from your local council, and it’s free and simple to obtain.

  • AutoTL;DR@lemmings.worldB
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    This is the best summary I could come up with:


    More than 400,000 people may have been prevented from voting in the general election because they lacked the necessary ID, with those from minority ethnic communities more than twice as likely to have experienced this, polling has suggested.

    Before it was brought in, charities and campaigners said it was more likely to affect people from poorer or minority ethnic communities or those with disabilities, who were less likely to have the necessary ID.

    People lacking the correct ID can apply for a free document called a voter authority certificate.

    David Weaver, the chair of Operation Black Vote, said it was no surprise that minority ethnic people were disproportionately affected.

    “These systematic barriers underscore a democracy that too often works against us rather than for us, highlighting the urgent need for large-scale constitutional reform,” he said.

    Before the rule was brought in, Labour opposed the idea, arguing that it was not needed given the apparently tiny problem of voter impersonation.


    The original article contains 569 words, the summary contains 159 words. Saved 72%. I’m a bot and I’m open source!

  • Jackthelad@lemmy.world
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    They had plenty of time to get ID. Your local council can provide one for free too.

    I don’t agree with the voter ID policy, but it’s not the fault of the government if you can’t be bothered to sort out ID or live under a rock and are unaware of the rule.

    • The Snark Urge@lemmy.world
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      In American politics, conservatives have openly discussed these kinds of policies as a way to get younger people, and anyone generally less privileged, not to vote. The idea is to create extra friction. The more points of friction you can create, the more people overall will fail to vote, and stochastically, it is hoped, such policies will affect the more privileged to a lesser degree. Nothing in the Tory bag of tricks is new to me, the only surprise has been that it doesn’t seem to work quite as well here.

      • SirQuackTheDuck@lemmy.world
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        These rules seem so weird for me. In the Netherlands you need to bring your photo ID to vote, but you also need it as a general requirement (you need to be able to show ID). The ID may be expired for at most five years, but you’ll have to bring one.

        You also need an ID for other stuff like opening a bank account, renting or buying vehicles, or going to specific football matches (I believe it’s to enforce banning people who misbehave).

        Why would people not have an ID like a passport, ID card or driver’s license?

        • The Snark Urge@lemmy.world
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          Government issued ID as-standard isn’t a default necessity in every country. They can be costly to administer, and there are serious privacy concerns (especially when private companies are involved). If it’s a solution that works in the Netherlands that’s fine, but it would not be an unalloyed good if implemented everywhere.

          • GreatAlbatrossMA
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            It’s pretty much this.
            The UK does not have a national ID system. And there is no requirement to carry ID at all times.
            Even when driving a car, if you’re pulled over and you do not have your ID on you, you are just asked to bring any required documents to a police station within 7 days for checking.