Gordon MP Richard Thomson is encouraging constituents to ensure they have photo ID that will allow them to vote at future UK elections.
From 4 May 2023, voters will be required to show an accepted form of photo ID in order to cast their ballot at a UK General Election. Mr Thomson is urging people to check whether they have an allowed photo ID, and if not, to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate.
Voter Authority Certificates were introduced due to concerns that the UK Government’s plans of requiring photo ID to vote would exclude people who cannot afford an appropriate ID document. You can apply for a certificate online or by post.
Mr Thomson’s call follows media coverage which suggested only 30% of voters were aware of the upcoming new rules.
The Gordon MP is among many who are concerned that the UK Government plans could reduce turnout and deny people their vote.
Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:
“The highly-respected charity Age UK has said that 500,000 older citizens would not vote if voter ID was introduced but the UK Conservative Government pushed ahead with the Elections Bill.
“Not only was it deeply flawed but it was an outright attack on democracy from a UK Government that seems intent on disenfranchising sections of the electorate. The Electoral Reform Society previously warned that the Bill will lead to millions of people being 'effectively locked out of democracy' and could lead to voter 'disenfranchisement on an industrial scale.'
"With millions of people across the UK not holding a form of photo ID, I want to encourage people across Gordon to make sure they have a form of ID that allows them to vote. If they don’t have one, then they can get one for free.
“The UK Conservative Government have shown time and again that they have no respect for democracy, and we cannot let them get away with it.”
A list of accepted photo IDs can be found at https://www.gov.uk/how-to-vote/photo-id-youll-need
Information on how to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate can be found at https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-photo-id-voter-authority-certificate
Coverage of awareness of the new rules can be found at https://bylinetimes.com/2023/01/16/millions-could-lose-right-to-vote-as-vast-majority-still-in-dark-over-voter-id-change-new-poll-shows/