British government attacks voting rights

This video, from daily The Independent in Britain, says about itself:

UK local elections 2018: Should you need ID to vote?

3 May 2018

People have been denied the right to vote in local British elections for the first time due to a controversial new pilot of checks that force voters to prove their identities before casting their ballot.

Emulation of Donald Trump‘s United States Republican attack on voting rights by the British Conservative government …

By Ceren Sagir in Britain:

3 May 2018

Voters denied their democratic right to vote

PEOPLE were denied their democratic right to vote today after failing to show proof of identity under a new rule being tried out to “combat electoral fraud”.

Many were left fuming on being turned away from polling stations for not bringing a form of ID, while others refused to cast a ballot in protest.

In a controversial pilot scheme, ID checks were carried out in Bromley, Gosport, Swindon, Watford and Woking, requiring people to prove their identity before voting.

Acceptable identity documents included a passport, driving licence, European ID card or Oyster 60+ London travel pass.

Shadow minister for voter engagement Cat Smith said the government had been warned that the voter ID requirement would have a “disproportionate” effect on older people, the young, black communities, trans people and the disabled.

Electoral Commission figures show that there were only 28 allegations of voter impersonation in 2017, even though almost 45 million ballots were cast.

Ms Smith said: “That’s less than 0.00007 per cent, or one case for every 1.6 million votes cast. And out of those 28 cases, there was only one conviction.

“But instead of listening to the experts and the vast evidence base, the government decided to implement a mistaken policy with the full knowledge that voters could be disenfranchised.

“The fact that voters were denied their right to vote is proof that voter ID has no place in our democracy.”

In Bradford, the council apologised after a presiding officer turned away voters for not bringing photo ID to a polling station, despite none being necessary, leaving people “very stressed”.

Stand Up to Racism’s Weyman Bennett said: “Not content with racially abusing the Windrush generation, the government wishes to disenfranchise people by adding on us tasks to identify themselves.

“This is not to stop voter fraud but to remove people’s democratic rights to vote for who they want.

“These practises are synonymous with the racist Trump administration and we should have nothing to do with it. Trade unionists, socialist men and women have fought for too long for their right to access the ballot box.”

Across England, 156 elections took place, including 32 in all London boroughs, 34 in metropolitan boroughs, 68 for district and borough councils and 17 to elect unitary authorities.

Mayoral elections were also held in Hackney, Lewisham, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Watford.

In a statement, the Electoral Reform Society said: “Evidence from around the world shows that forcing voters to bring photographic ID to the polling station just makes it harder for people to vote.

“It does little to increase faith in the integrity of the system or stop determined fraudsters. We don’t need more barriers to people taking part in our democracy.

“There’s evidence that strict voter ID rules in the US disproportionately disadvantage already marginalised groups.

“Many citizens who can’t afford to go on foreign holidays don’t have passports and those that can’t drive don’t have driving licences.”

The measures also caused a furore on social media, with some people arguing that they discriminate against the poor and vulnerable.

Author Stuart Lowe tweeted: “If you are the household bill-payer, can drive or have international holidays, proving identity can seem easy.

“Requiring voter ID mostly disenfranchises people who are dependent, vulnerable, and/or poor.”

This 3 May 2018 video from Britain is called Theresa May‘s Voter ID Scheme Prevents Brits From Voting For First Time In HISTORY! RIGGING!

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Thursday, May 3, 2018

The voter ID debacle has denied people’s right to vote. It is a crime against democracy

TORY insistence on overriding objections to their pilot of controversial plans making voters carry photographic ID as the price of casting their ballot is sinister in the extreme.

Using residents of Bromley, Gosport, Swindon, Watford and Woking as guinea pigs has already resulted in the grave injustice of people on the electoral register being denied the right to vote.

What was the evidence put forward to justify this practice, which owes much to the gerrymandering associated with right-wing forces in the US who try to disenfranchise voters for being from black or other minority ethnic communities, for being poor or less likely to support Establishment candidates?

Hearsay and rumour were mobilised by right-wing media to imply that voter fraud is a serious problem, but this is not supported by facts.

There were just 146 allegations of voter personation — someone seeking to vote for someone else — across the whole of Britain in the period 2010-16 that took in two general elections and the EU referendum.

According to the Electoral Commission, throughout last year, which saw another general election, there was a single conviction for someone attending a polling station and claiming to be a registered voter.

Eight suspects accepted police cautions — four in relation to voter registration offences, two for personation as a postal voter, one for making a false statement on a nomination form and one over election expenses.

Four of the council areas picked for this trial run have no record whatsoever of voter personation while Woking had just one case and that was 12 years ago.

It is disingenuous to point to the situation in Northern Ireland because, as with so many questions, its history, though linked, is quite different from Britain’s.

Gerrymandering was an intrinsic part of the “Protestant parliament for a Protestant people” mentality of the undemocratic Orange statelet that was challenged in the 1960s by the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association.

The “vote early, vote often” call by unionist politicians was then matched by vote-maximisation techniques by their opponents, but this doesn’t provide a template for elections in Britain, as this year’s Electoral Commission report shows.

On a scale of seriousness from one to 10, the level of fraud it uncovered barely reaches zero, yet this ID trial has culminated in citizens being denied the right to vote for not having acceptable documents.

The authorities insist that each person on the electoral register has been sent five leaflets, including notes with their polling cards and notifications about recycling and bin collection.

Many people, especially the elderly and infirm, do not bother even to glance at the mountains of bumf that come through their letter box.

Not everyone picks up their polling card, knowing that simply announcing your name and address suffices to receive a ballot paper.

The numbers of voters denied their democratic right to cast a ballot is certainly in the dozens and likely to be in the hundreds.

Whatever the actual total, it is an affront to democracy that dovetails with the Tory government’s disregard for citizenship rights for the Windrush generation children that Theresa May perpetrated in 2014.

In each case, a non-existent problem is tackled by wielding a 14-pound hammer and causing mayhem as a result.

Constitution Minister Chloe Smith’s assertion that stealing someone’s vote is a crime and the integrity of elections must be protected should be turned back on her and Theresa May’s government.

They have damaged polling integrity by denying citizens their rightful vote. They are guilty of a crime against democracy.

Local Elections Labour demands Tories drop voter ID scheme as polling stations denied voters their right to vote: here.

Local elections: 4,000 people turned away from casting their ballot in voter ID pilot. ‘Britain prides itself on being a leading democracy – but it is a dark day for politics when thousands of blameless people turn out to vote only to be refused’: here.

7 thoughts on “British government attacks voting rights

  1. 23:42 3 May
    Anger as ID pilot voters ‘turned away’

    There has been anger in some areas piloting controversial ID trials after people reported being prevented from voting, the Press Association reports.

    Bromley, Gosport, Swindon, Watford and Woking councils have all trialled the scheme to help cut down voter fraud. But MPs and councillors said people, including elderly residents, were being turned away because they did not have appropriate ID.

    Angela Wilkins, leader of the Labour group in Bromley, said five people had been unable to vote as a result of the pilot and that the scheme was also causing long delays.

    The presiding officer at the polling station in Sydenham Tennis Club, in Bromley, said “only a very small percentage” of voters had forgotten or were unable to provide ID.

    Local MP Ellie Reeves said she knew of two people being turned away from polling stations in Bromley this morning.

    I’ve had reports throughout the day of queues at polling stations. It’s a much longer process than normal. I do think it’s put a hugely unnecessary barrier up to people wanting to vote.
    Ellie Reeves MPLewisham West and Penge

    In Woking, Labour councillor Tahir Aziz said a man had been turned away from a polling station in Walton Road because his photo ID – a Surrey County Council document – was not accepted.

    “This gentleman turned up, showed his ID which included a picture that was clearly him, it was an exact resemblance, but they wouldn’t accept it as it was not on the list of acceptable forms of ID,” said Mr Aziz. “He was fuming. He was furious. He is a British national and he couldn’t vote.”


  2. Pingback: “British government attacks voting rights” | Dear Kitty. Some blog | COMRADE BOYCIE

  3. Pingback: British government attacks voting rights | Dear Kitty. | Britain Isn't Eating

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