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Voter ID: Turnout Levels

Volume 723: debated on Thursday 1 December 2022

10. Whether the Committee has held recent discussions with the commission on the potential impact of different forms of voter identification on levels of voter turnout. (902570)

The Government piloted different models of voter ID at elections in 2018 and 2019. In its independent evaluations, the commission found no evidence that turnout was significantly affected by the models piloted. However, it was unable to draw definitive conclusions, particularly about the likely impact at a national poll with higher levels of turnout.

Things have moved on since then. We now have the detailed proposals from the Government and we can see a number of concerns—in particular, the massive imbalance between the ID available for younger people as opposed to that available for older people. We also know from published correspondence that the commission has warned the Government that the introduction of voter ID will be neither secure nor workable by 2023. In all these circumstances, what more can the Committee and the commission do to ensure that good sense is heard in time and that the Government are not simply allowed to railroad this through?

I can reassure the right hon. Gentleman that the Committee has heard the points that he has made, but it is for the Government and not the commission to comment on the reasoning behind the inclusion or exclusion of any particular form of ID. The commission has emphasised that voting at polling stations must remain accessible for all voters regardless of age and for voters who do not already have acceptable photo ID.