Elections: Proof of Identity

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 19th July 2021.

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Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Government's voter ID plans, what steps people in assessment and treatment units, between homes or in other forms of insecure housing and without documentation of a fixed address will need to take to obtain an elector card.

Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to research published in July 2021 by the Albert Kennedy Trust on LGBTQ+ youth homelessness, what assessment the Government has made of the effect of its voter ID proposals on the voting freedoms of homeless LGBTQ+ youth.

Photo of Chloe Smith Chloe Smith Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

A broad range of documents already in use will be accepted as identification for voting purposes - it will not be limited to UK passports or driving licences. This will include, for example, various concessionary travel passes, Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) cards, and photocard parking permits issued as part of the Blue Badge scheme. In addition, expired photographic identification will be accepted as long as the photograph is of a good enough likeness to allow polling station staff to confirm the identity of the holder.

We recognise that, notwithstanding this broad approach, a small minority of electors may not currently hold one of the required forms of photographic identification. For those people, a free, local Voter Card will be available from their local authority. A fixed address will not be a requirement to receive a Voter Card, in the same way that it is not a requirement to register to vote.

We will continue to work with the Electoral Commission and other stakeholders, including Local Authorities and a wide range of charities and civil society organisations, to make sure that voter identification is rolled out in a way that is inclusive for all eligible voters, including those who are homeless and those who are LGBT+.

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