Readers of this site will be familiar with the shocking accounts from Cllr Peter Golds of electoral fraud in Tower Hamlets. He has noted the irony that the Labour Party oppose ID for General Elections and council elections – yet require them for internal Labour Party elections.
Sir Eric Pickles, the Government’s anti corruption czar, has backed an ID requirement. He produced an independent report for the Government which was published last year.
The Conservative Manifesto has pledged to make this a reality.
“The British public deserves to have confidence in our democracy. We will legislate to ensure that a form of identification must be presented before voting, to reform postal voting and to improve other aspects of the elections process to ensure that our elections are the most secure in the world. We will retain the traditional method of voting by pencil and paper, and tackle every aspect of electoral fraud.”
What form should the ID take? Sir Eric has proposed that it could be a utility bill. Cllr Golds argues that a photo ID should be required. The point Sir Eric makes is that “perfection should not get in the way of a practical solution.” It is likely that pilots will be tried out with different requirements. But this undertaking to provide greater electoral rigour to protect the integrity of our democracy is very welcome.