Submitted by: 10 members.
Mover: Helen Morgan MP (Spokesperson for Housing, Communities and Local Government).
Summation: Baroness Pinnock (Lords Spokesperson for Housing, Communities and Local Government).
Conference notes that:
- The Conservative Government has introduced a new law requiring voters to show photo ID in order to vote in:
- General elections, parliamentary by-elections and recall petitions across the UK.
- Local elections and referendums in England.
- Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales.
- The crime of personation - pretending to be someone else in order to vote - is incredibly rare: in the May 2022 elections, there were just seven allegations of personation in polling stations and in none of those cases was there enough evidence for further action by the police.
- The Cabinet Office estimates that implementing the voter ID scheme will cost the taxpayer approximately £120 million over the next decade.
- Jacob Rees-Mogg, who was a Cabinet Minister when the voter ID law was introduced, has described it as an attempt to 'gerrymander' elections in the Conservatives' favour.
- The Electoral Commission's analysis of the May 2023 local elections - the first elections with the voter ID law in force - found that:
- At least 0.25% of people who tried to vote(approximately 14,000 people) were denied a vote because they could not show an accepted form of ID; in a general election that would be the equivalent of around 80,000 people.
- Around 4% of all non-voters said they didn't vote because of the voter ID requirement.
Conference believes that the Conservatives' voter ID scheme is expensive, unnecessary and undemocratic, robbing thousands of people of their right to vote in elections and hold those in power to account.
Conference further notes that:
- The Liberal Democrats in both the House of Commons and the Lords consistently led opposition to the introduction of the voter ID law.
- Helen Morgan MP has tabled the Elections (Voter Identification Requirements) Bill, which would scrap the voter ID scheme.
Conference calls on the Government to repeal the voter ID law by supporting Helen Morgan's Bill and making government time available for it to pass both Houses of Parliament as soon as possible.
Mover: 5 minutes; all other speakers: 3 minutes. For eligibility and procedure for speaking in this debate, see pages 110-111 of the agenda.
The deadline for amendments to this motion is 13.00 Monday 11 September. Those selected for debate will be printed in Conference Extra and Monday’s Conference Daily. The deadline for requests for separate votes is 09.00 on Sunday 24 September.