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North West Leicestershire District Council taking part in Voter ID pilots in 2019

Published: Mon 5 November, 2018

  • North West Leicestershire District Council is one of 11 local authorities across England confirmed to take part in Voter ID trials
  • Participating local authorities will test different methods of identification
  • Next step towards national rollout of Voter ID at the next scheduled general election

North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) is set to take part in the next round of the 2019 Voter ID pilots along with 10 other local authorities across England.

The pilots will take place at the 2019 local elections, providing further insight to the Government into how best to secure the voting process.

Local authorities will help show what methods of ID work best for voters and provide alternative methods of ID to individuals who do not have a specified form of ID, free of charge, ensuring that everyone who is registered has the opportunity to vote.

The NWLDC pilot will require voters to bring their polling cards with them when they vote.

At the last local elections in May, five local authorities took part in the first round of Voter ID pilots which are being run by the Cabinet Office.

The evaluation following the first trials showed they were a success, with the overwhelming majority of people able to cast their vote without a problem.

Bev Smith, Returning Officer for NWLDC said: “We’re very pleased to be taking part in the voter ID pilot. It’s important that the Electoral Commission has good data on what works for the electorate before deciding on the best way to prevent electoral fraud in the UK. We have a great elections team in North West Leicestershire and are confident that the pilot will work well.”  

Minister for the Constitution, Chloe Smith MP said: “I am pleased to see North West Leicestershire District Council taking part in the 2019 pilots. Their participation will help us gain a deeper understanding of how voter ID will work on a wider scale ahead of a national rollout, and see what works best for voters.

“We want people to have confidence that our elections are safeguarded against any threat or perception of electoral fraud.

"People are already required to show ID to pick up a parcel from the Post Office, rent a car, or apply for benefits and this is a common sense next step to securing the integrity of our elections.”

Director of Communications and Research for the Electoral Commission, Craig Westwood, said: "Our key recommendation following the 2018 voter ID pilots was that any future pilots should include a wider range of local councils, taking in a mixture of rural and large urban areas and areas with different demographic profiles.

"We are pleased to see this reflected in the proposed list of authorities for 2019, to provide more detailed evidence about the impact of voter identification on different groups of people."

"The Electoral Commission is responsible for carrying out an independent evaluation of the Cabinet Office’s pilot schemes. We will publish our findings following the May elections, in the summer of 2019."

We are engaging with a broad range of charities and civil society organisations - including members of the Accessibility of Elections Working Group - to ensure that the overall policy reflects the needs of all voters in the UK.

To verify that voters are who they say they are, each local authority will test one of four models of Voter ID checks in their pilot:

  • Photo ID
  • Photo and non-photo ID
  • Traditional poll cards
  • Poll cards with scannable barcodes.

Voters in Pendle, East Staffordshire and Woking will be asked to show photo ID before they are given their ballot papers.

Ribble Valley, Broxtowe, Derby, North Kesteven and Braintree will require voters to present either one form of photo ID or two forms of non-photo ID.

Mid Sussex, Watford and North West Leicestershire will test using poll cards as a means of identification.

In addition, Peterborough and Pendle will run a separate postal vote pilot, looking at the security of postal votes and providing additional guidance in postal vote packs.

Proxy voters in Peterborough will also be required to show ID before they can vote.

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