Neil calls for Photo ID in polling stations

Neil has called for compulsory photo ID to be shown before voting to tackle voter fraud. Drawing on his experience as an election observer in Bangladesh in 2008, Neil pressed the Government on better identification checks at the ballot box - one of the recommendations in the recent report by Sir Eric Pickles MP on voting fraud.

Neil: Whether he plans to implement the proposals made in the “Securing the ballot” review of electoral fraud.

Chris Skidmore (Cabinet Office Minister): The Government published on 27 December their response to the review of electoral fraud by my right hon. Friend the Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Sir Eric Pickles). The response sets out clearly the action that the Government intend to take on each recommendation and proposes a comprehensive programme for reforming our electoral system and making our democracy more secure.

Neil: In December 2008, I was an election observer in Bangladesh. Because of previous voter fraud, photographs were taken of 80 million people, and people were clearly identifiable from those photographs when they went to vote. Have the Government considered doing that? A democracy needs as many people to vote as possible, but we do not want identity fraud when people vote.

Chris Skidmore (Cabinet Office Minister): My hon. Friend makes a good point about international comparisons. Many countries, including Canada, Brazil and Austria, already require photographic ID to vote at polling stations, and such a scheme was introduced in Northern Ireland in 2003. The Government are taking forward pilots to look at electoral identification in the 2018 local government elections, and we are willing to test various forms of identification—photographic and non-photographic—to ensure above all that no one is disenfranchised.

The full transcript can be found at this link.