Lib Dem calls for more to be done across district on need for Voter ID - The Evesham Observer

Lib Dem calls for more to be done across district on need for Voter ID

Ryan Smith 20th Jul, 2023   0

A PERSHORE councillor has called for more to be done to ensure all Wychavon voters know the need for voter ID after a ‘considerable number’ of people in rural areas of the district claimed to have not received their polling cards at this year’s election containing vital information on the new rule.

The worries were raised by Coun Dan Boatright-Greene at Wednesday’s (July 19) Wychavon District Council meeting.

For the first time this year, those casting their ballot in person needed to show identification to prove who they are at the polling station.

Among the accepted types are a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport, a driving licence issued by the UK, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or an EEA state, a blue badge and a concessionary travel pass, such as an older person’s bus pass.

Polling cards were adapted to include all information about voter ID ahead of May’s local elections.

However, Coun Boatright-Greene said several potential voters, especially those in rural areas, told him they were unaware of the rule change and they hadn’t received their polling cards.

He added could be done ahead of next year’s elections to ensure the information gets to those who aren’t ‘social media savvy’.

After being asked by Coun Boatright-Greene, council leader Coun Bradley Thomas revealed 28 people were turned away from voting in the Wychavon local elections due to lack of ID.

In addition, 17 people returned with the appropriate ID after being turned away.

Coun Thomas added the people who were turned away were fairly evenly scattered across the district’s 103 polling stations.

A poll clerk was also stationed at the entrance of all polling stations to advise on voter ID, with anyone who left before entering the building not included in the figures.

However, Coun Thomas said the number of people who left at the entrance is believed to have been small.

He also committed to conducting another local awareness campaign next year alongside the electoral commissions’ work nationally.

Wychavon has sent feedback to the government about the May election and the council has committed to once again recruiting extra staff to assist in both office and polling stations.


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