Voter ID proposals could put elderly off going to polls

Wiltshire Times: Doubts have been expressed on Voter ID proposals Doubts have been expressed on Voter ID proposals

Linda Petherick, South West regional organiser of the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, said that proposals from The Electoral Commission, which would require voters to show some sort of ID at polling stations before voting, could stop the older generation from using their vote.

NFOP is concerned that these proposals could create a number of potential problems, especially for older people.

Mrs Petherick said: “There needs to be some clarification on how this is going to work, including what sort of ID will be accepted, as many older people do not have a photo driver ID or even a relevant passport.

"Will individuals get a period of grace to get the necessary ID in place? Or will there be a range of alternatives accepted?

“And financially, what would this cost for the retraining of staff? And what about educating voters, many of whom have voted for decades without needing voter ID. Should money be spent on this sort of initiative in these austere times?

“In the South West, supporting the elderly to get to polling stations to vote, especially in the rural areas, is difficult enough. If the Voter ID is introduced, voting by the elderly will potentially be greatly reduced even further.

“The evidence from 2012 elections, published in May 2013, show that there were only 80 alleged cases of impersonation, and of those only 25 involved allegations of someone pretending to be someone else at the polling station. Based on this evidence it is hard to see why this is even being considered as an option.”

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