A new report released by the UK Electoral Commission revealed on Wednesday that voters in the UK faced new challenges at the May local elections due to the recent requirement of bringing a voter ID. The commission believes “urgent action” is required to address these issues ahead of the next general election.Under the Election Act of 2022, UK voters are now required to bring a suitable form of ID to polling stations. The new law was first implemented during May local elections. When reviewing the election, however, a report from the UK Electoral Commission revealed that 14,000 people were denied their ballot papers because they did not bring a suitable form of ID with them to the polls. The report also found that only 57 percent of UK voters were aware of the free Voter Authority Certificate, a form of free ID that can be used at the polls. The commission concluded that some voters found it difficult to vote because of both a lack of ownership of a suitable ID and a lack of the awareness about the need to bring it to the polls.The commission emphasized the need to address these problems in time for the next general election, which is to be held some time during the next 16 months. This is because voter turnout is usually higher during general elections, and there is a threat that more people may be denied an opportunity to participate in the election because they do not have their ID.In a statement on the issue, Craig Westwood, Director of Communications, Policy and Research at the Electoral Commission, said:Elections in the UK are well run, and voters have high levels of confidence, but challenges need to be addressed across the system if that is to continue, and if barriers experienced by some voters are to be lifted . . . We are ready to work with government and wider electoral community to tackle these issues and mitigate risks to well-run elections in future.The commission therefore created a list of recommendations for the government to adopt to “mitigate risks to the delivery of elections.” These included: reviewing the list of accepted ID to identify if additional document can be added; exploring if the deadline to apply for free ID can be pushed closer to polling day; and providing options on polling day for voters without accepted ID, such as a “vouching” system.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *