A trial has, predictably, sent Labour into meltdown. But not only is their response disingenuous—it's deeply misguidedby Charlotte Gill / March 8, 2018 / Leave a comment
In order to strengthen the voting identification process, the Tories are introducing checks in five areas in a trial that could be extended nationwide, should it work successfully.
This move seems largely about the risk of students double-voting, as they are allowed to register for elections both at home at university. Suspicions about their activities has not arisen out of nowhere; last year, the Electoral Commission received over 1,000 complaints and letters from 38 MPs, many of which cited these concerns.
Given that the youth vote is increasing—with two million more applying to vote at the snap election—it is not unreasonable for the Tories to tighten up in this area. Surprise surprise, Labour has gone into meltdown.
The fact is, voting has always been an alarmingly relaxed and unvetted affair in this country. On my journeys to the ballot box, I am always rather disappointed that when I tell the officials “I am Charlotte Gill” and no one replies: “really?” The most extreme check is being asked for an address, which at worst means that someone who stole another person’s post could pretend to be them.
Our process seems all the more lax given that we are asked to prove our identity in numerous parts of life; if most of us can manage bringing a driving license out clubbing on a Saturday night, clobbered, I’m sure we can do it sober too.
Thanks to technology, identify theft is easier than ever—so it’s about time we formalised democracy. In an age where Russian interference in the US election has worried the West, it should be in everyone’s interests that elections are as accurate as possible.
Labour has brought up some profoundly stupid arguments against the Tories’ initiative, arguing that ID checks are an affront to democracy. In a simpering video, MP Cat Smith suggests that identification would make it “harder to vote,” and online pro-Corbyn media outlet the Canarysaid that the Tories are “changing electoral law to stop Corbyn becoming Prime Minister.” Right…
Jeremy Corbyn himself has also spoken out against the Tories’ plan, attempting to take the moral high ground despite having convicted electoral fraudster Marsha-Jane Thompson as a campaign manager. The double standards of Labour know no bounds.