Christina Rees, MP for Neath, has condemned the UK Government’s plans, announced in the Queen’s Speech, to introduce Voter ID as a mandatory requirement for citizens to vote in general elections.
these plans will prevent the 3.5 million citizens who do not have any form of photo ID from taking part in the democratic process, particularly the elderly, those on low income and Black, Asian and ethnic minority voters.
Introducing Voter ID is also set to cost the taxpayer £20 million at every single election, which could equate to 600 nurses, over 950 police officers or 850 fire fighters.
The Conservatives claim that Voter ID will tackle voter impersonation, yet this is not an issue in the UK. Voting in the UK is safe and secure, and in the 2019 general election there was only one conviction for impersonation out of 59 million votes.
Christina Rees, MP for Neath, said:
“The UK Government’s plans to introduce voter ID is an undemocratic policy designed to supress voter turnout. Despite multiple warnings from UK charities and civil rights groups that it risks excluding and disenfranchising millions of people, the Tories continue to plough on with this damaging plan, undoing decades of democratic progress.
“Voter ID is also a huge waste of taxpayers’ money, set to cost millions at every election. At a time when our energy and resources should be focused on the Covid recovery, the Tories priorities are all wrong.
“Millions of people can’t afford the privilege of carrying photo ID. Whilst in Wales the Welsh Labour Government is trying to increase participation in elections by extending the vote to 16- and 17-year-olds, the Conservatives Voter ID plan is voter-suppression pure and simple. I urge the UK Government to think again on this pointless policy.”