Elections: Proof of Identity

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered on 23rd September 2021.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, pursuant to the Answer of 14 July 2021 to Question 28276 on Elections: Proof of Identity, what steps he is taking to make blind and partially sighted people aware that they are entitled to a Voter Card to enable them to vote.

Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, pursuant to the Answer of 14 July 2021 to Question 28276, Elections: Proof of Identity, what steps he is taking to ensure that the application process for voter cards is fully accessible to blind and partially sighted people.

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch Minister for Equalities, Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government), Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office), Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (jointly with Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

It is important to be clear that a Voter Card will only be necessary where electors do not already possess one of the wide range of forms of identification that will be acceptable. Many blind and partially sighted people who choose to vote in person will likely find they already possess such a form of identification. However, where electors do not possess this, local authorities will be legally obliged to provide a Voter Card free of charge.

We will continue to work with the Electoral Commission and other stakeholders, including the Equalities and Human Rights Commission and a wide range of charities and civil society organisations, to make sure that the requirement to provide photographic identification at the polling station is rolled out in a way that is inclusive for all voters.

This will include continued engagement with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), which is a member of the Government's expert Accessibility of Elections Working Group.

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