Carmichael: voter ID plan will harm democratic rights


Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, on Monday pushed back on government plans to introduce compulsory photo ID requirements for voters. The new “election integrity” law announced in the Queen’s Speech has been criticised by a range of organisations concerned that the law could make it harder for marginalised groups to vote.

Commenting, Mr. Carmichael said:

“This is a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The idea that we need a compulsory voter ID system to prevent fraud is like saying we need a new law against hunting unicorns. It is a solution to a problem that does not exist. Still worse, the so-called solution creates a new problem, by harming our democratic rights.

“Not everyone has a passport or drivers’ license and elderly voters especially will not appreciate the complication that this would add to what should be a simple act of civic engagement.”

He continued:

“I’m proud that in the Shetland by-election this year we had one of our highest voter turnout rates in recent years. The increased turnout showed just how much our community values its democratic rights. We should continue to encourage higher voting rates, not throw obstacles in the way. The Government should think again.”


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