Fears voiced that new voter ID rules could reduce Melton elections turnout
The Liberal Democrats, Labour and Green Party joined forces on a stall in the town’s Market Place to highlight the voting change and ensure people are aware of the rules when they vote for their new Melton borough councillors on May 4.
Voters can show documents such as their photocard driving licence, passport or disabled Blue Badge at the polling booths or they must apply for a Voter Authority Certificate if they have no ID paperwork showing their photo.
Jim Adcock, of the Loughborough, Charnwood and Melton Liberal Democrats, was one of those manning the stall .
He said: “There is no justification for the Tories’ new voter ID rules, because there is no significant voter fraud.
"This isn’t making elections fairer, they are making it harder for the disadvantaged and young people to vote.
"The changes will be disastrous for democracy.”
His sentiments were echoed on the stall by Rutland and Melton Labour’s Pip Allnatt, who commented: “When Tony Blair proposed a multi-purpose national ID card to help combat crime, benefit fraud and illegal immigration the Conservatives voted it down.
"Now they impose an unfair system that will reduce turnout at local elections.”
And Alistair McQuillan, speaking for the Rutland and Melton Green Party, said: “We are united in opposing this sort of unfair, half-baked scheme and ask all independent and fair-minded democrats to join with us and support the Campaign for Fair Democracy.
"Otherwise, how can we hope for sensible and balanced local government? This is not Trump’s America.”
A spokesperson for the Electoral Commission said: “We know that some groups are more likely to experience barriers with this change and may need support to access photo ID.
“Organisations working directly with voters, including local authorities and charities, can help voters make sure they have photo ID ahead of the elections.
“We have also created resources to help those who are likely to need support with the new voter ID requirement.”
Click HERE to apply for a Voter ID Certificate for May’s elections.