Millions of people across the UK, including many in Llanelli, may be excluded from their democratic right to vote under plans put forward today by the Conservative UK Government, according to local MP, Nia Griffith.
In the recent Queen’s Speech, the Government formally announced their plans to introduce mandatory Voter ID at the next election. This policy requires voters to present photo ID to vote at polling stations in future general elections.
NIA GRIFFITH, MP for Llanelli, said:
“Voting is safe and secure in Britain. Ministers should be promoting confidence in our elections instead of spreading baseless scare stories.
Millions of people lack photo ID in this country including many here in Llanelli – in particular the elderly, low income and Black, Asian and ethnic minority voters. 7.5% of the electorate – don’t have access to any photo ID at all, so will be excluded from voting if the Tories go through with this.
Driving licenses and passports cost money – something that many people don’t have. In addition, young voters are far less likely to carry a form of photo ID, threatening to silence their voices in our democracy.”
The MP, who will be voting against the proposals later today in the House of Commons, added:
“It doesn’t matter how the government dresses it up, these plans make it harder for working class, young and ethnic minority people to vote. It’s simply undemocratic and wrong and that the Government are attempting to supress voters.
Voter fraud is a vanishingly rare offence in the UK. In 2019, out of 59 million votes cast in elections, there was just one conviction for voter impersonation – the type of fraud that Voter ID is support to tackle. You are more likely to get struck by lightning twice than commit voter fraud.
These plans are also shockingly expensive, forecast to cost at least £17 million per general election – money that can be spent far better elsewhere.”