'A third of Coventry voters do not know they need ID on polling day' - The Coventry Observer

'A third of Coventry voters do not know they need ID on polling day'

Coventry Editorial 26th Apr, 2023   0

CONCERNS have been raised ahead of the city council elections after figures showed almost a third of people in Coventry were still unaware of the need to take voter ID to the polling station on May 4.

According to the data, 28.8 per cent of residents did not know about the rule change, which could equate to 86,077 voters not taking identification and therefore not being able to cast their ballot.

Nationally, the least likely age group to know about the new rules was 25 to 34-year-olds with 36 per cent saying they were unaware.

Whereas, only 13.2 per cent of those aged 65 and over said they did not know about the need for voter ID.

Earlier this week campaign groups handed in a petition of 119,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street, calling on the government to scrap the voter ID plans.

The Electoral Reform Society, Unlock Democracy and Open Britain all joined together to oppose the voter ID plans, which said it could see more than 2million people who lack photo ID locked out of the ballot box.

There was a fierce debate in the Coventry City Council chamber back in January after Labour put forward a motion that was carried to call on the Government to either scrap or postpone voter ID at polling stations.

The Conservatives responded by saying the policy was already in place and the city council would be better off ensuring more people knew about the law change by stepping up a voter ID campaign.

But some will argue this latest research from charity Hope Not Hate points to not enough being done to highlight rule change.

Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, responding to the research, said the figures were ‘deeply concerning’.

“It is clear the new photo ID rules introduced by the Government could suppress the vote at this and future elections.

“The Government are responsible for bringing in these misguided changes.

“They now need to take responsibility for making sure that young people and voters from BAME backgrounds in particular are aware of the new rules so people don’t lose their right to vote”

Turn to page seven and visit coventry.gov.uk/elections for more about the Coventry elections, voter ID and the types of identification accepted.


COMMENT – The Observer says….

THERE is just over a week to go until the Redditch Borough Council elections.

Time has flown since the change in law which means voters will now need to take ID to polling stations to enable them to vote.

Despite promises from local authorities and the Electoral Commission, the amount of publicity given to the new rules seems woeful.

We are reiterating our message to everyone to make sure they have ID and take it with them.


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