Concern Thousands Will Be Prevented From Voting

Plymouth Labour is calling for the implementation of new requirements for voter ID to be postponed because there is not enough time to implement its provisions with the potential to leave thousands of Plymothians unable to vote in May’s local elections.

Cllr Tudor Evans OBE, the leader of Plymouth Labour, is bringing a motion to full council on 21 November about the Elections Act 2022 which includes the introduction of mandatory voter ID which is due to be implemented for next year’s local elections.

“The government is estimating that 4% of the electorate will not have the prescribed voter ID available, that’s 1.9 million people who will not have the requisite ID and local councils will be expected to produce it,” said Cllr Evans.

According to research done by Plymouth Council, it would take an electoral administrator eight minutes to process one application for an ID certificate to be used to vote.

Cllr Evans said: “We worked it out that one electoral officer doing this for a whole week – at that rate – it would take them 36 weeks to process 8,000 applications.”

“Electoral officers are telling us with one voice that they can’t do this by May 2023,” he said.

“What we are asking the council to do is to formally register its opposition to this timetable and support the postponement of the implementation until May 2024.”

Cllr Tudor Evans speaks to the Guardian about elections Act 2022