Local Government: Elections

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 13th November 2018.

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Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement and Youth Affairs, Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to recommendations in the Electoral Commission's statutory evaluation of the 2018 voter ID pilot schemes, what work the Government is undertaking with returning officers, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and organisations that represent people with different needs to carry out robust equality impact assessments of the pilot schemes taking place in May 2019.

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

The Government is committed to making sure that our electoral system is fit for the future.

The success of the voter ID pilots in May this year proves that voter ID is a reasonable and proportionate measure. On 3 November the Government announced that eleven local authorities across England would be taking part in voter ID pilots for the 2019 local elections.

Equality impact assessments will be conducted in each of the pilot areas. We take seriously the importance of Public Sector Equality Duty compliance at an early stage in policy development and are engaging with the Equality and Human Rights Commission and a broad range of charities and civil society organisations to ensure that the overall policy reflects the needs of all voters in the UK. Local authorities will provide alternative methods of ID to individuals who do not have a specified form of ID, free of charge, ensuring that everyone who is registered has the opportunity to vote.

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