Elections: Proof of Identity

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered on 5th December 2022.

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Photo of Angela Rayner Angela Rayner Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work, Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the Government's proposals on voter ID, what plans are in place for voters whose gender identity may not match their photo ID.

Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the number of voters aged (a) 18 to 30 and (b) over 65 who hold a form of ID which will be accepted at a polling station.

Photo of Lee Rowley Lee Rowley Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

Cabinet Office research shows that 99% of those aged 18-29 held an accepted form of photographic identification, and 98% of those aged over 70 hold an accepted form of photographic identification.

Everyone who is eligible to vote will have the opportunity to do so. Any eligible voter who does not have one of the required forms of photographic identification, or whose appearance has significantly changed in comparison to their existing identification documents, can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate that matches their current appearance.

Polling station staff will be given appropriate training and there will be a requirement for privacy screens to allow electors who wish to have their form of identification viewed in private able to do so.

The Electoral Commission will provide a comprehensive, targeted communications campaign and guidance, raising awareness throughout the electorate of the new voter identification requirements.

Northern Ireland has successfully operated photographic identification in polling stations since 2003, when introduced by the last Labour Government.

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