Elections: Pilot Schemes

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 19th February 2019.

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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 the Electoral Integrity Pilots Prospectus 2018, whether his Department produced templates for developing equality impact assessments to ensure consistency across all local authorities participating in the 2019 electoral pilots; and what steps his Department is taking to assess the potential effect on protected groups in the design and delivery of the pilots.

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

The British public deserves to have confidence in our democracy and 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 last year proves that voter ID is a reasonable and proportionate measure. Based on the public opinion survey of the 2018 pilots there is no indication that the ID requirement impacted the intention to vote for any consistent specific demographic group across the 2018 pilot authorities.

The local authorities taking part in the 2019 voter ID pilot scheme are conducting equality impact assessments to ensure that the potential impacts of the scheme on their voters are understood, and that mechanisms to support voters can be put in place where necessary. That work is supported by the Cabinet Office.

We take seriously the importance of Public Sector Equality Duty compliance at every stage of 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.

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