Voter ID.

TelfordTelford Shipmate
The UK government are to introduce this. Many will say that it isn't necessary and it's voter suppression. I disagree.

TBTB also need to investigate those who vote twice because they are registered at more than one address.
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Comments

  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Telford wrote: »
    The UK government are to introduce this. Many will say that it isn't necessary and it's voter suppression. I disagree.

    On what basis?
  • Telford wrote: »
    The UK government are to introduce this.
    <snip>

    It's a proposal, and not a foregone conclusion. There's a long way to go - and a lot of opposition to overcome - before it happens.

  • kingsfoldkingsfold Shipmate
    edited May 13
    It has the potential to prevent people voting, at least in person - I am thinking, for example, of one of my neighbours who does not drive, and has no passport.... And I'm sure she's not alone. It is assumes that everyone has both of these forms of ID, which is not a given.
  • Ah, but those who possess neither passport (blue, of course) nor driving licence are clearly not active or affluent enough to be trusted with the vote.

    People like students, or the poor, or the chronically ill, or the homeless - that sort of person. Can't have them voting - why, they might vote Labour, or Green!!
    :open_mouth:
  • Jemima the 9thJemima the 9th Shipmate
    edited May 13
    It definitely has the potential to stop people voting. I don’t know many, but I do know a few people who do not have photo ID. A previous work colleague didn’t - she didn’t drive and never had, and had never taken foreign holidays. She had no need for a driver’s licence or passport. She would be unable to vote under these new rules - why should she spend a whole lot of money to get ID just to be able to vote? Paying to be able to vote doesn’t send terribly democratic to me.

    The Electoral Reform Society estimate that 3.5m citizens don’t have photo ID. https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/campaigns/upgrading-our-democracy/voter-id/

    I think the assumption that every voter would just have these forms of ID says something about the people who wish to bring in the proposal.
    Edit to add, of the people I can think of without voter ID, I’d say they were reasonably unlikely to vote Tory.
  • <snip>

    I think the assumption that every voter would just have these forms of ID says something about the people who wish to bring in the proposal.
    Edit to add, of the people I can think of without voter ID, I’d say they were reasonably unlikely to vote Tory.

    My point exactly.

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    I still have an old paper driving licence, and my passport has expired. My only other photo ID is my (digital) rail card - also expired.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    edited May 13
    Telford wrote: »
    The UK government are to introduce this. Many will say that it isn't necessary and it's voter suppression. I disagree.

    TBTB also need to investigate those who vote twice because they are registered at more than one address.
    Do you have any evidence that anybody is doing this? That's a rhetorical question. There is no evidence that anybody is doing this.

    Why are you claiming that the powers that be need to investigate a non-existent problem?
  • Marvin the MartianMarvin the Martian Admin Emeritus
    It’s a terrible idea at best, and even that’s only in the circumstance where the government provides photo ID for everybody on the electoral register free of charge.

    But yeah, absolute bollocks of an idea that will hopefully never even get as far as a first hearing in the Commons.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    kingsfold wrote: »
    It has the potential to prevent people voting, at least in person - I am thinking, for example, of one of my neighbours who does not drive, and has no passport.... And I'm sure she's not alone. It is assumes that everyone has both of these forms of ID, which is not a given.
    Nothing wrong with having a postal vote. It would be ideal for your neighbour
    Ah, but those who possess neither passport (blue, of course) nor driving licence are clearly not active or affluent enough to be trusted with the vote.

    People like students, or the poor, or the chronically ill, or the homeless - that sort of person. Can't have them voting - why, they might vote Labour, or Green!!
    :open_mouth:

    It's not about voter suppression. Only the homeless are prevented from having a vote because they are not on the electoral roll , It's supposed to prevent fraud.
  • I don't have a link, but there was IIRC a mention in the Guardian the other day that *shock* *horror* about 164 people had been prosecuted for voter fraud (I can't remember when, or over what period).

    The problem is therefore acute, and must be dealt with by the severest means possible. English democracy is at stake.
  • The biggest problem with voting in this country is that not enough people bother to vote. Introducing an ID requirement so that even fewer people are able to vote does nothing to address that problem.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    The biggest problem with voting in this country is that not enough people bother to vote. Introducing an ID requirement so that even fewer people are able to vote does nothing to address that problem.

    Why should the system bother to cater for people who can't make the effort to vote
  • The biggest problem with voting in this country is that not enough people bother to vote. Introducing an ID requirement so that even fewer people are able to vote does nothing to address that problem.

    All too true, alas, and a problem which would not necessarily be solved by making voting compulsory (without photo ID, of course!).
  • Telford wrote: »
    It's not about voter suppression. Only the homeless are prevented from having a vote because they are not on the electoral roll , It's supposed to prevent fraud.

    See, there's this thing about "preventing fraud". It sounds like a fine and noble goal. Yes, of course electoral fraud is a bad thing - every voter should be able to cast exactly one vote, and be confident that their vote is counted. Any deviation from "everyone gets their vote counted" is a deficiency in the electoral system.

    And the thing about all these "electoral fraud" prevention proposals is that they seek to solve a problem that largely doesn't exist (there's very little evidence for any fraud that would be caught by an ID requirement), and in the process, create a much bigger problem (making it harder for legal voters to exercise their right to vote, and so increasing the number of people who do not get their voting intention counted.)

    As such, these proposals are themselves electoral fraud.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    I don't have a link, but there was IIRC a mention in the Guardian the other day that *shock* *horror* about 164 people had been prosecuted for voter fraud (I can't remember when, or over what period).

    The problem is therefore acute, and must be dealt with by the severest means possible. English democracy is at stake.

    Some years ago, a chap I knew, was aware that one of his neighbours was away and voted in his name. He was not prosecuted.

  • Telford wrote: »
    The biggest problem with voting in this country is that not enough people bother to vote. Introducing an ID requirement so that even fewer people are able to vote does nothing to address that problem.

    Why should the system bother to cater for people who can't make the effort to vote
    Because, requiring photo ID to prevent non-existing fraud would prevent some of the people who currently vote doing so. And, if we manage to convince some of those who don't vote that they should do so it would be embarrassing if they then turn up at the polling station and are denied the chance to do so.
  • Telford wrote: »
    I don't have a link, but there was IIRC a mention in the Guardian the other day that *shock* *horror* about 164 people had been prosecuted for voter fraud (I can't remember when, or over what period).

    The problem is therefore acute, and must be dealt with by the severest means possible. English democracy is at stake.

    Some years ago, a chap I knew, was aware that one of his neighbours was away and voted in his name. He was not prosecuted.

    Good grief! That one misplaced vote could have made a difference between a good government, and a bad one!
    :open_mouth:

    There is, I don't doubt, some voter fraud - the system hasn't been invented that someone can't tamper with - but it's hardly a major issue.

    Or do you have a link to a reliable source that suggests it is a major problem?
  • Telford wrote: »
    Some years ago, a chap I knew, was aware that one of his neighbours was away and voted in his name. He was not prosecuted.

    You did your civic duty, and reported this alleged crime, I suppose...
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Telford wrote: »
    I don't have a link, but there was IIRC a mention in the Guardian the other day that *shock* *horror* about 164 people had been prosecuted for voter fraud (I can't remember when, or over what period).

    The problem is therefore acute, and must be dealt with by the severest means possible. English democracy is at stake.

    Some years ago, a chap I knew, was aware that one of his neighbours was away and voted in his name. He was not prosecuted.

    How?
  • Telford wrote: »
    Some years ago, a chap I knew, was aware that one of his neighbours was away and voted in his name. He was not prosecuted.

    You did your civic duty, and reported this alleged crime, I suppose...

    :naughty:
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Telford wrote: »
    I don't have a link, but there was IIRC a mention in the Guardian the other day that *shock* *horror* about 164 people had been prosecuted for voter fraud (I can't remember when, or over what period).

    The problem is therefore acute, and must be dealt with by the severest means possible. English democracy is at stake.

    Some years ago, a chap I knew, was aware that one of his neighbours was away and voted in his name. He was not prosecuted.
    Did you report him?

    As well as reducing voter fraud to a negligible level*, this measure will be equally effective in reducing the risk of voters being struck by lightning on their way to the polls, and entirely eliminate any risk of shark attacks in polling stations.

    * No more than, say, on average, half a dozen cases a year.
  • I await a complaint from @Telford that we are not taking the subject seriously...

    It would be more to the point if efforts were made to get people to take voting seriously, but that, of course, is the job of the opposition parties.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate

    Telford wrote: »
    I don't have a link, but there was IIRC a mention in the Guardian the other day that *shock* *horror* about 164 people had been prosecuted for voter fraud (I can't remember when, or over what period).

    The problem is therefore acute, and must be dealt with by the severest means possible. English democracy is at stake.

    Some years ago, a chap I knew, was aware that one of his neighbours was away and voted in his name. He was not prosecuted.

    Good grief! That one misplaced vote could have made a difference between a good government, and a bad one!
    :open_mouth:

    There is, I don't doubt, some voter fraud - the system hasn't been invented that someone can't tamper with - but it's hardly a major issue.

    Or do you have a link to a reliable source that suggests it is a major problem?
    Will this weeks Queen's speech do ?
    Telford wrote: »
    Some years ago, a chap I knew, was aware that one of his neighbours was away and voted in his name. He was not prosecuted.

    You did your civic duty, and reported this alleged crime, I suppose...

    No. He was a chum and this was many years ago
    BroJames wrote: »
    Telford wrote: »
    I don't have a link, but there was IIRC a mention in the Guardian the other day that *shock* *horror* about 164 people had been prosecuted for voter fraud (I can't remember when, or over what period).

    The problem is therefore acute, and must be dealt with by the severest means possible. English democracy is at stake.

    Some years ago, a chap I knew, was aware that one of his neighbours was away and voted in his name. He was not prosecuted.
    Did you report him?

    As well as reducing voter fraud to a negligible level*, this measure will be equally effective in reducing the risk of voters being struck by lightning on their way to the polls, and entirely eliminate any risk of shark attacks in polling stations.

    * No more than, say, on average, half a dozen cases a year.

    If we only had half a dozen muders in a year would you suggest that we stopped trying to prevent them?
    I await a complaint from @Telford that we are not taking the subject seriously...

    It would be more to the point if efforts were made to get people to take voting seriously, but that, of course, is the job of the opposition parties.

    No. I realised that I would be a voice in the wilderness. Never the less I have had my say and you all have had the opportunity to have yours
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    edited May 13
    Telford wrote: »
    The UK government are to introduce this. Many will say that it isn't necessary and it's voter suppression. I disagree.

    Again, where is you evidence for either of these claims ?
  • @Telford - the Queen's Speech (and yes, we know she is The Perfect Monarch™) sets out the government's intentions. Did Her Majesty recite chapter and verse as to the extent of the problem?

    Intentions are NOT a list of foregone conclusions, as I'm sure you are aware.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    @Telford - the Queen's Speech (and yes, we know she is The Perfect Monarch™) sets out the government's intentions. Did Her Majesty recite chapter and verse as to the extent of the problem?

    Intentions are NOT a list of foregone conclusions, as I'm sure you are aware.

    If this is not a popular proposal, more than 40 Conservative MPs will oppose it and it could fail.
    Telford wrote: »
    The UK government are to introduce this. Many will say that it isn't necessary and it's voter suppression. I disagree.

    Again, where is you evidence for either of these claims ?
    This is a government proposal and it will be up to them to prove their case. I accept that very few people on here support the Conservatives.
  • Well, you raised the subject in your OP, with no link or citation to support your assertion.

    Whether or not Shipmates support the Conservatives is neither here nor there, as there is likely to be opposition from all sides, Tories included, as you say.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Voter ID is a solution in search of a problem. Yes, there may be some fraud, but the odds are infinitesimally low. The only examples of voter fraud here in the US are often committed by conservatives because they have the mistaken notion that if liberals are doing it, they can too. (Liberals are not doing it). But in no way have they been able to change the outcome of the election.
  • This.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited May 13
    Thing is, voter fraud, to the extent it occurs, is what we call a random error. It's just as likely to occur in one part of society as another, to the best we know. It is unlikely to influence overall outcomes.

    Voter ID introduces systematic error. It will disproportionately affect people on the margins od society. People with who can afford neither to drive nor go abroad. People with lives made chaotic by mental illness which will make the organisation required to obtain photo ID difficult or impossible.

    When you disenfranchise specific groups - that's when you influence outcomes.
  • Telford wrote: »
    This is a government proposal and it will be up to them to prove their case. I accept that very few people on here support the Conservatives.

    Do you not wish to discuss it, then? I'm confused: you introduced the subject, with a new post. You stated that the government proposed voter ID laws, and that you supported them. But you don't seem to want to argue in support of them.

    So where would you like this discussion to go? Several posters have told you that they don't support the proposals, both because they don't think there's actually a problem to solve, and because they think that voter ID laws will suppress the vote.

    The effect on voter suppression is pretty well known from those places in the US that have such a requirement; it is also notable that the loudest voices speaking in favour of voter ID laws in the US are Republicans from districts with a significant minority population. It's not hard to propose a causal link.

    Given that the Conservative party are making this proposal, and the people most likely to be disadvantaged or disenfranchised by these laws are found in demographics that tend not to vote Conservative, it's hard to avoid a suspicion of an ulterior motive.

  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    The Conservatives are copying the US Republican policies of a few years back. The US Republican policies are clearly aimed at voter suppression.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Telford wrote: »
    The UK government are to introduce this. Many will say that it isn't necessary and it's voter suppression. I disagree.

    TBTB also need to investigate those who vote twice because they are registered at more than one address.

    The traditional rule here was to vote early, vote often and vote for the dead. A mate (much older and now sadly not with us) used say that he followed the rubric in the inner area of Woolloomooloo in the years following WW II. His argument was that it was the best and easiest way to ensure the right result in local government elections. A very safe Labor area, the result in State and Federal elections was never in doubt, but when there were multiple candidates to be elected, you wanted to make sure that the successful ones were of the right faction - in his case, that was the Left faction.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    edited May 13
    Telford wrote: »
    This is a government proposal and it will be up to them to prove their case. I accept that very few people on here support the Conservatives.

    Do you not wish to discuss it, then? I'm confused: you introduced the subject, with a new post. You stated that the government proposed voter ID laws, and that you supported them. But you don't seem to want to argue in support of them.
    This is my 7th post on the subject
    So where would you like this discussion to go? Several posters have told you that they don't support the proposals, both because they don't think there's actually a problem to solve, and because they think that voter ID laws will suppress the vote.

    The effect on voter suppression is pretty well known from those places in the US that have such a requirement; it is also notable that the loudest voices speaking in favour of voter ID laws in the US are Republicans from districts with a significant minority population. It's not hard to propose a causal link.

    Given that the Conservative party are making this proposal, and the people most likely to be disadvantaged or disenfranchised by these laws are found in demographics that tend not to vote Conservative, it's hard to avoid a suspicion of an ulterior motive.
    I don't seen any voter suppression. Anyone can apply for a postal vote and I assume that nobody would have to pay to prove their identity.

  • As someone who has never voted in person in a UK election, can I ask -do they even check who you are when you go and vote?

    In the Netherlands it is compulsory to have photo ID, and it is checked when you vote. Nobody seems to find it a problem and the turnout is usually higher than in the UK. I know the thought of requiring ID is anathema in the UK, but if it works smoothly in many other countries it can't be as bad as most Brits seem to fear. Perhaps it is just one of the ways in which the UK is just out of step with the rest of Europe.
  • Dave WDave W Shipmate
    At the site where I vote in Massachusetts, there are folding tables set up where election workers and a cop ask for your address and name so they can look you up in a book of registered voters. They don’t ask for ID, just put a check mark next to your name and hand you a ballot.

    In-person voting fraud seems such an impractical way to steal an election that it hardly seems worth the trouble to institute ID checks to stop it.
  • Leorning CnihtLeorning Cniht Shipmate
    edited May 14
    Telford wrote: »
    I don't seen any voter suppression. Anyone can apply for a postal vote and I assume that nobody would have to pay to prove their identity.

    The two forms of identification that have been mentioned on this thread are the UK passport and the driving licence. Both of those things cost money; as far as I'm aware, the UK doesn't have the concept of issuing a driving licence that only serves as identification and doesn't entitle one to drive something.

    In addition to the expense of obtaining identification, there's the concern that British citizens who live somewhat transient and disordered lives find it especially challenging to keep hold of their paperwork.

    Anyone "can" apply for a postal vote, but the evidence is that people who are busier, live more chaotic lives, and so on "do" not apply for a postal vote. And it's easy enough to imagine why. Applying for a postal vote might not be a very high bar, but it's set significantly higher than just turning up at your polling station on the right day.
    Telford wrote: »
    This is my 7th post on the subject

    Well, yeah, but none of them actually make a case for voter ID. Why do you think it's necessary?
  • Jonah the WhaleJonah the Whale Shipmate
    edited May 14
    Dave W wrote: »
    At the site where I vote in Massachusetts, there are folding tables set up where election workers and a cop ask for your address and name so they can look you up in a book of registered voters. They don’t ask for ID, just put a check mark next to your name and hand you a ballot.
    So if you wanted to you could just turn up early, give your name as your neighbour whose politics you don't like, then come back later in the day and vote in your own name. When your neighbour shows up he can't vote but they have no record of who voted on his behalf. This is so laughably easy I think I am obviously missing something. I'm not saying it is necessarily rampant, but there doesn't seem to be much to stop it. I suppose you could live in a place where everybody knows everybody else.


  • Dave WDave W Shipmate
    Dave W wrote: »
    At the site where I vote in Massachusetts, there are folding tables set up where election workers and a cop ask for your address and name so they can look you up in a book of registered voters. They don’t ask for ID, just put a check mark next to your name and hand you a ballot.
    So if you wanted to you could just turn up early, give your name as your neighbour whose politics you don't like, then come back later in the day and vote in your own name. When your neighbour shows up he can't vote but they have no record of who voted on his behalf. This is so laughably easy I think I am obviously missing something. I'm not saying it is necessarily rampant, but there doesn't seem to be much to stop it. I suppose you could live in a place where everybody knows everybody else.

    I think what stops it is that it sounds like a comically inconvenient way to irritate your neighbor. And how, pray tell, are you going to be voting yourself? Going to go back outside, get in line again, and what - put on a disguise so the poll workers don't recognize you the second time? Is this what people in the Netherlands would do, if they didn't have to show an ID?

    If you're really mad at your neighbor, I'd think you'd probably be better off just keying their car or stuffing their mailbox with dog shit or something - more direct and less time-consuming.
  • It's pretty obvious that voter ID laws are discriminatory. My general feeling is that those who want these laws see this as a feature not a problem.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    Dave W wrote: »
    Dave W wrote: »
    At the site where I vote in Massachusetts, there are folding tables set up where election workers and a cop ask for your address and name so they can look you up in a book of registered voters. They don’t ask for ID, just put a check mark next to your name and hand you a ballot.
    So if you wanted to you could just turn up early, give your name as your neighbour whose politics you don't like, then come back later in the day and vote in your own name. When your neighbour shows up he can't vote but they have no record of who voted on his behalf. This is so laughably easy I think I am obviously missing something. I'm not saying it is necessarily rampant, but there doesn't seem to be much to stop it. I suppose you could live in a place where everybody knows everybody else.

    I think what stops it is that it sounds like a comically inconvenient way to irritate your neighbor. And how, pray tell, are you going to be voting yourself? Going to go back outside, get in line again, and what - put on a disguise so the poll workers don't recognize you the second time? Is this what people in the Netherlands would do, if they didn't have to show an ID?

    If you're really mad at your neighbor, I'd think you'd probably be better off just keying their car or stuffing their mailbox with dog shit or something - more direct and less time-consuming.

    You wouldn't have to turn up twice. You could have already used a postal vote.
  • Dave WDave W Shipmate
    So could your neighbor. You should probably find out whether that shows up in the book the cop is looking through.
  • @Jonah the Whale we get voting cards posted to us which includes a voter number. The easiest way of voting is turn up at the polling station with the voting card and show that so the people on duty can tick your voter number off.

    If you don't have that card, which I have done once, then I'm pretty sure I had to show either proof of address or ID. Which for me would be my driving licence.

    Like @BroJames I still had my paper driving licence until I couldn't apply to work on the 2012 Olympics without photo ID. So when I had the spare cash to do so, I changed it over as the cheapest way of obtaining the required ID. I'm not sure how that is going to work when I'm over 70 as these days I don't have a car nor need to drive. It took my irritation that I'd missed out on something I'd wanted to do to ensure I followed through. I also had a full driving licence I could convert.

    As to postal votes, they have to be applied for weeks in advance. One of the two times I haven't voted in a general election I was living away from home caring for my grandmother as she recovered from a heart attack. Very inconveniently her illness and the decision I'd be away occurred after the deadline to apply for a postal vote. So I drove her to vote, but couldn't take the several hours away for me to drive home to vote.

    (The other time I was living away as a student, registered to vote as it was my permanent residence for the duration and couldn't find the polling station, in those days before GPS devices in my pocket.)
  • MMMMMM Shipmate
    I have mixed feelings about this. The reports I have heard/seen suggest that those that don’t have voter ID would be able to obtain one for free/cheaply: it would not rely solely on people having a passport or photo driving licence.

    I do not see how this amounts to voter suppression. If a person is not organised enough to procure such an ID, then presumably they would not be organised enough to register to vote in the first place: so I am not sure that is an argument.


    MMM


  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    <snip>If you don't have that card, which I have done once, then I'm pretty sure I had to show either proof of address or ID. Which for me would be my driving licence.<snip>
    I usually take my polling card with me, but not always. I can’t recall ever being asked for proof of address. Though any time in the last thirty years I’d probably have been wearing a dog collar, and that may be a factor.
  • These days when I go to the polling station I don't even have to give name and address, just wait for the polling staff to find me on the list.
  • MMMMMM Shipmate
    I never take my polling card with me* and have never been asked for any proof of address.

    MMM

    *I stopped taking it because of the party supporters outside the polling station asking to see it. I can just say that I don’t have it with me rather than growl ‘none of your bloody business’ at them.
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate
    edited May 14
    I suspect population density is at play here. If, as I do now, I live in a more populated area, town of 10,000 plus population, then I cannot expect to be recognised by the staff on duty in the way that I was when I lived in a town with a population of 3000, or a village with a population 120.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited May 14
    I have never had to give any ID when voting without my card and wouldn't know the polling station officers (and they wouldn't know me) from Adam.

    I agree there's potential for fraud but the evidence seems to be that it doesn't happen much.

    The "crossing off names" thing presumably provides a limited check against using someone else's identity. I don't know what happens if you turn up and your name's already crossed off but all voting slips are numbered so potentially fraudulent votes can be flagged and identified, one presumes.
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