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Sir Keir Starmer Eyes Review of Mandatory Voter ID Amid Concerns Over Voter Disenfranchisement

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Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer is contemplating a review of the mandatory voter ID law

This regulation, implemented by the Conservative government, made its debut in this general election, marking the first time voters are required to present identification at polling stations.

Political reporter @serenabarksing

Tuesday, June 18, 2024, at 3

Sir Keir Starmer has expressed worries about the effects of compulsory voter identification and is contemplating its reassessment should he enter office.

In a conversation with Sky News before this evening's voter registration cutoff for the general election, he acknowledged that the policy might have certain shortcomings.

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The leader of the Labour Party expressed to Sky News, "I believe it's important to reassess and consider the ID regulations. The effects worry me, and I won’t ignore them."

"Today, I want to emphasize the importance of bringing your identification to the polls. It's crucial for those who desire change to make their voices heard by voting for it."

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Starting in 2022, new regulations established by the Conservative Party require voters to present a photo identification at the polling stations in order to vote.

This nationwide general election marks the inaugural implementation of mandatory photo ID at all polling stations. In the past, such identification was only required at certain types of elections including by-elections, local elections, and those for police and crime commissioners.

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The amendments were implemented to eliminate what the Conservative government alleged might result in widespread voter fraud.

However, the Electoral Commission indicated that incidents of misconduct were negligible and warned that the policy might actually deter individuals from participating in the voting process.

Explore further:What qualifies as acceptable voter identification? Platform comparison: What commitments are being made by the political groups?

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The report from the Commission revealed that during the local elections in May, 14,000 individuals, among them Boris Johnson who had initially implemented the rule, were denied entry for lacking the necessary identification.

Activists are particularly worried about the potential for the policy to be disproportionate.

The research conducted by the elections watchdog indicates that low-income individuals, those with disabilities, and members of ethnic minority groups are disproportionately impacted by current regulations, potentially limiting their ability to vote compared to the general population.

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The Liberal Democrats have pledged to eliminate the policy, as stated in their manifesto, and Sir Keir has given his clearest indication to date that the policy could be abolished if Labour comes to power.

The current administration's evaluation of the expenses associated with implementing the voter ID policy estimates the total cost could reach up to £120 million over a ten-year period.

An ex-government official who advocated for the legislation in parliament has stated that the policy was ineffective.

Jacob Rees-Mogg stated that the strategy had unintended consequences for the Conservatives, as it was primarily the elderly who were frequently found without the necessary identification.

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