In the Queen’s Speech, the Tories announced plans to force voters to present ID at polling stations, which they claim is to prevent electoral fraud. When you look at the evidence on this issue, it is clear that actually these measures are a blatant attempt to keep the young, the old, and the working-class from exercising their democratic right. These are gerrymandering tactics designed to rig the result of the next election in East Hull and beyond.
Approximately 3.5 million citizens, or 7.5% of the electorate, do not have access to any form of photo ID. 11 million citizens – 24% of the electorate – do not have a passport or a driving license. In the 2017 General Election, of the 44m votes cast, just 28 were allegedly fraudulent. There has never been a confirmed case of electoral fraud in our constituency of Hull East. In a voter ID trial in this year’s local elections, 700 people were denied a vote across 10 council wards.
Any incident of electoral fraud is a serious crime, but strategies to tackle it must be based on the facts. The Tories’ plans are not. They are a very large sledgehammer to smash a very tiny nut.