Under cover of Brexit darkness, the government is mounting another, typically surreptitious, attack on our democracy.
The government, without any substantive evidence, is implementing a system by which we will all have to have a “Voter Id”. You may have thought that you already had one by registering on the electoral roll, but you would be wrong.
The government is using various instruments and prerogatives to attempt to subvert our right to vote and other rights we have under the 1688 Bill of Rights. These are our rights and it is for Parliament to decide how they are exercised. We must stand up to these abuses, just as we did when the government tried to use Royal Prerogative to trigger Article 50.
If we are at all concerned about our fundamental rights and the rule of law, we must support Neil Coughlan’s campaign to ensure that there is proper democratic, parliamentary oversight of the restrictive measures the government is attempting to impose.
Neil makes a persuasive case for opposing the imposition of Voter Id in this video.
In 2017 there were just 28 allegations of impersonation out of nearly 45 million votes cast. This is 1 case for every 1.6 million votes cast. Of those 28 allegations, 1 case resulted in a conviction – that’s 0.000063%.
One of the key pieces of evidence used to support the need for the Government’s voter ID pilots was discredited by the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA).
The government claimed that in-person voter fraud more than doubled between 2014 and 2016, a statistic that is technically accurate, a rise from 21 cases in 2014 to 44 in 2016. What the government fails to explain is that the number of allegations then fell by more than a third in 2017, to 28.
In short, the number is insignificant, even if all instances were to happen in a single constituency.
3.5 million voters (7.5% of the electorate) do not have any photo ID. If restricted to passports and driving licenses, potentially 11 million electors (24% of the electorate) would not have a qualifying ID.
Either Voter Id is a solution looking for a problem as the Electoral Reform Society suggests or it is a measure against something other than electoral fraud.
Voter Id in the USA is being used as a tool to disenfranchise the most vulnerable members of society: the poor, the elderly, the disabled, ethnic minorities, the homeless. The UK government’s introduction of Voter Id in the UK would disadvantage the same groups of people.
The crux of the argument is perhaps that these groups are thought to be not only unlikely to vote for the Conservative party, but also likely to vote for other parties, particularly Labour. So it is just a whole lot easier to stop them voting than it is to convince them to vote Tory.
Vote Tory or you don’t get to vote. Neat, isn’t it?
All this is being forced through by the government without an Act of Parliament or even a debate in the House of Commons.
I have contributed to Neil’s campaign and I urge you to do so as well.
Grahame Pigney – January 2019
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There is still a long way to go and there are no guarantees about what the outcome will be. The only thing that is certain is that if we stop trying we will lose.
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Published by Grahame Pigney on behalf of The People’s Challenge Ltd.