This petition was submitted during the 2017–2019 Conservative government
Petition Introduce voter id for all elections
A form of voter id needs to be introduced for all elections.
This petition closed early because of a General Election Find out more on the Petitions Committee website
This response was given on 24 July 2019
The Government is delivering voter ID to strengthen the integrity of our electoral system and give the public confidence that our elections are secure and fit for the 21st century.
Read the response in full
Electoral fraud is an unacceptable crime that strikes at a core principle of our democracy - that everyone’s vote matters.
In our current system, there is undeniable potential for electoral fraud and the perception of this undermines public confidence in our democracy. Voter ID is part of a body of work this Government is delivering to strengthen the integrity of our electoral system and give the public confidence that our elections are secure and fit for the 21st century. If people are confident about the electoral system, they are more likely to participate in it.
The impact of electoral fraud on voters can be significant and takes away their right to vote as they want, whether through intimidation, bribery or by impersonating someone and casting their vote. There is undeniable potential for people to cast other people’s votes unless their identity is checked at the polling station. Voter ID is a reasonable and proportionate measure to prevent this and ensure your vote is yours, and yours alone.
Building on Sir Eric Pickles’ comprehensive review of electoral fraud published in 2016, pilots were run to give us a deeper understanding of how voter ID will work on a wider scale - and what works best for voters - before national roll-out. Voter ID pilots were conducted on a voluntary basis in five local authorities in May 2018 (Watford, Woking, Swindon, Bromley and Gosport) and ten diverse local authorities in 2019 (Mid Sussex, North West Leicestershire, Watford, Braintree, Broxtowe, Craven, Derby, North Kesteven, Pendle and Woking).
To evolve the existing, but outdated, verbal identification test that happens in a polling station, each local authority tested one of four models of voter ID in their pilot. This included checks of either photo ID, photo and non-photo ID, traditional poll cards or poll cards with scannable barcodes. Local authorities provided alternative methods of ID, free of charge, whenever an elector was unsure they were able to produce the required ID, to ensure everyone who was registered had the opportunity to vote.
This Government takes its Public Sector Equality Duty extremely seriously. In addition to the pilots, we consulted with a broad range of charities and civil society organisations, to make sure that voter ID will work for everybody and have recently published our pre-pilot findings.
The Government has included a commitment to national roll out of voter ID requirements across Great Britain in their manifesto. Both last year’s pilots and the decades of experience of Northern Ireland - including at the most recent local elections - show that voter ID does not have an adverse effect on election turnout or participation. This Government is committed to rolling out this effective anti-fraud measure and bringing the whole of the United Kingdom into line with Northern Ireland, which has had ID to vote in elections since 1985.
In line with the 2018 pilot evaluation, the 2019 pilots have been evaluated by both the independent Electoral Commission and the Cabinet Office. These evaluations were published on Monday 22 July 2019.
We will be looking carefully at the evaluations from both the 2018 and 2019 pilots to help inform our next steps and shape how voter ID will work when it is introduced nationwide.