Skip to main content

Voter ID


I was, well not surprised, but disappointed to hear that UK government intends to mandate photo ID for voting, supposedly to combat voter fraud. As electoral fraud figures are negligible anyway - and fraud relating to attempts to vote under the wrong name infinitesimal - we are left with the unfortunate conclusion that this is really another way to ensure the marginalised do not vote. 

Electoral Fraud Figures UK
*Conviction figures from House of Commons briefing paper 'Electoral Fraud since 2010'. It also shows that most reported offences are around campaigning, and the vast majority are no further actioned for lack of evidence.

To be honest, I personally think voting should be mandatory. You can spoil your ballot, but you should have to make the effort to vote. I don't even have a moral problem with ID cards - so long as they're provided by the government free of charge. But many people do. It especially goes against the Libertarian line the government likes to champion.

Still, back to costs. In Northern Ireland, for example, where photo ID is mandatory, you can apply for a free electoral identity card. It's still time consuming and of questionable societal value but, if that's the route a government wants to take, there must be a similar option available. 

There has, as yet, been no accompanying announcement in the UK.

I'm not holding my breath.

In the UK you have a number of existing options for photographic ID. Most of them serve only a very specific subsection of the population:

 - Photographic Driving Licence.
 - Passport.
 - Proof of Age Standards Scheme PASS Card.
 - Military Identification Card.
 - Police Identification Card.
 - Firearms Licence. 
 - Photographic Public Transport Passes.

If you included all of the above, per the government's own figures, 7.5% of the electorate (i.e. 3.5 million people) would still have no valid photographic ID. If you limit it to passports and driving licences, as is likely to be the case, 24% of the electorate wouldn't have any.

When I tweeted about the problem somebody replied that I could get a provisional driver's licence for £34 - providing I applied online, postal applications cost £43. But I don't drive. I have no intention of learning to do so. Combined with the fact there is no legal obligation to accept a provisional driver's licence as proof of ID, it seems a complete waste of money.

(Google failed to provide me with a handy list, but just off the top of my head most major banks will only accept provisional licences as proof of address, not proof of ID. Until full details are released, we don't even know if it would be accepted proof of ID for voting. You can't use them as proof of ID when dealing with estate claims, business transactions, etc.)

Passports are more useful. I even have one - it's just that it expired some eight years ago. They are legal ID and could potentially be used to spend some time away from this insular looking island at some point in the future. But they are also more expensive. Online application will cost you £85.50. Postal applications are £95. 

That's about a week's income on universal credit. 

It's nearly a third of my weekly income and I'm in work.

I mean, I am literally an elected politician. That is my source of income. But if this proposal were to become law tomorrow I would not be able to vote in an election I was standing in.

Sigh. I suppose I could be pleasantly surprised when the full details are released to find they have a no cost route all lined up, tested and ready to implement. I just wouldn't want to bet on it...


Popular posts from this blog

Free Magazine Scans

Click the pictures below to find full cover guides to various teen magazines (primarily collated to make scale miniature magazine covers but I figure they'll also be useful for collectors and anyone into media history) and scans from my own magazine collection. I've also got a couple of kids' books I didn't want to part with - The Squirrel and Little Owl Book of Pets . The unwieldy size of my bookmark folders convinced me I needed a reference post for online magazine archives. Or, more accurately, free online magazine archives. Whether you're looking for leisure reading or research avenues, you're bound to find something useful in this list. :) ☆ Archive for the Unexplained - UFO mags galore. ☆   The Magazine Rack - over 140,000 digitised magazines! ☆   Lantern - thousands of vintage film magazines. ☆ FANZINES  - a number of online archives now exist for these including  FANAC  (SF), ScoTpress  (Trek), Sandy Herald Collection  (media fandom, major

Free Fabric Samples x 200

Choosing upholstery and soft furnishings can be a nightmare - especially if it arrives and isn't quite what you expected. Fabric samples are a great way to avoid costly mistakes, as well as providing a fab source of material for your crafts box. Here are over 200 places offering completely free fabric samples in the UK:

Guide to Sindy Houses

As far as 1/6 scale doll houses go, Sindy's Super Home is fairly ubiquitous. It's a good size, it isn't made out of pink plastic, and you can pick one up on eBay for under £50. But the Super Home wasn't Sindy's only foray into property ownership. In fact she had numerous different houses, caravans, stables, and other buildings... 1970 Sindy's Town House Though this was advertised in the 1970 brochure, it doesn't seem to have ever made it into production. 1973 Sindy's House This one apparently made it into limited production, but was flimsy and was soon replaced. According to the Sindy Museum , it had four rooms, decorated as a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and lounge. You can see part of the house used for photos in the 1974 catalogue . 1974 Sindy's House Existing examples appear to have been competition wins, so it is unlikely this house was ever on general sale. You can read more about it HERE . 1975

Simply Cook Review

I kept seeing ads and deals for Simply Cook everywhere, so as there was a special offer on at OhMyDosh! Rewards (£3 for the box and £3.50 cashback) I figured I had nothing to lose by giving it a try. What Is It? Recipe kits packed into boxes which fit through your letterbox. The usual price is £9.99 for a kit of 4, with each one serving 2-4 people depending on your serving sizes. All you need to do is buy the fresh ingredients required and follow the instructions. Here is Simply Cook's own helpful diagram: Does It Work? For me, as the person just eating it, it was awesome. Everything tasted great - the mushroom penne in particular was so good I went back for seconds - and I liked that the sauces weren't as rich as Anthony would usually make them. For Anthony, who cooked them, they weren't as impressive. He complained that the food was bland and that it was actually quite a lot of faff, as Lidl didn't stock everything we needed which meant another trip ou

Welsh UFO Sightings 2016

Welsh UFO sightings from 2016. For sightings from other years please click HERE . UK UFO Sunday 3rd January, 01:25 Gwent Witness saw a 'typical space ship' through their bedroom window. It had blue and red lights, and appeared to be moving towards them. They watched for a few minutes and the next day reported the sighting to UK UFO. FM: " I was up really late and i needed to use the bathroom so i got up and my side of the bed is by the window, so i had a look out. i saw an object shaped like a typical space ship would look, but it had blue and red lights and appeared to be coming towards me. i watched it for a while and then left to use the bathroom and by the time i had returned (5 minutes later) the mysterious lights had almost disappeared into the distance. " SUFON Tuesday 5th January, 09:20 Bevan Close, Waunarlwydd, Swansea  Broken cloud. Brian Harry was at home in Bevan Close, Waunarlwydd and had just let his dog out the back