This week in the Queen’s speech, the government has announced to introduce mandatory photo identification for every voter at the next election. The government claims to be restoring integrity in the election process by eliminating any impersonation despite there being 28 allegations in the elections of 2017 and one conviction across a crowd of 59M in 2019.
This policy is not a reasonable response to the problem and is, in fact, a strategy to suppress voters. 3 ½ million people in the UK do not possess any form of photographic identification. Not to mention the disproportionate impact this policy will have on black, Asian and ethnic minorities that already face discrimination when they participate politically. Multiple leading civil rights groups have condemned this policy that will render a good percentage of the population unable to cast their votes.
The government is spending millions of tax pounds to tackle a non-existent crime and like always is neglecting to fund vital services or offer pay increases to key workers and young people. Instead of encouraging people to participate politically, the government is hell-bent on reducing voter turn-out come elections. This policy needs to be rethought immediately before we reverse the decades-long democratic progress in our country.