Local Government: Elections

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 22nd May 2018.

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Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement and Youth Affairs

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many additional polling station staff in each local authority area were required to deliver the local government election voter ID pilots; and what the average number was of additional staff at a single polling station who were required to carry out identity checks as a result of the pilot scheme.

Photo of Chloe Smith Chloe Smith The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, Assistant Whip

Voter ID is an important step to ensuring the public can have greater confidence in our democratic system.

Voter ID was successfully tested at the local elections on 3 May by five local authorities: Bromley, Gosport, Swindon, Watford and Woking. Proxy voters in Peterborough were also required to show ID before they could vote. The overwhelming majority of people cast their vote without a problem and local authorities’ data shows that this is a reasonable and proportionate measure to take.

Each pilot authority decided its own staff requirements and it would be for pilot authorities to confirm the details of any additional staff they may have required. The Cabinet Office will meet the additional cost of the voter ID pilots.

The impact of voter ID will be the subject of the Electoral Commission’s independent, statutory evaluation of the pilot schemes and it will publish its findings in the summer of 2018.

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