The SNP has challenged the UK government to ditch its regressive and Trumpian voter ID bill – which risks undermining democracy and shutting out marginalised communities from participating in elections.
Ahead of the second reading of the Elections Bill in Parliament today, the party’s Human Rights spokesperson warned that the Bill would weaken the Electoral Commission by removing its prosecutorial powers and independence, hand Ministers more power that would enable the government to decide who can or can’t participate in election campaigns, and leave millions unable to vote due to proposals over voter ID requirements.
It’s estimated that between 2-4% of the population do not have ID that would be suitable for voting requirements under the bill – with the UK government’s own figures putting this number at around 2.1 million.
Commenting, Brendan O’Hara MP (pictured) said:
“The Tory government’s regressive and Trumpian Voter ID bill must be ditched.
“The reality is that it threatens to undermine democracy and shut out marginalised communities.
“Rather than working to strengthen our democratic processes, the Tories have taken yet another page out of the Trump playbook with blatant voter suppression measures.
“With millions of people across the UK not holding a form of photo ID, the grim reality is that their democratic rights will not be strengthened – they will be ripped away from them.
“The Electoral Reform Society has already warned that the Bill will lead to millions of people being ‘effectively locked out of democracy’ and could lead to voter ‘disenfranchisement on an industrial scale.’
“The SNP will oppose this Bill and it is vital that the UK government heeds the warnings and abandons its vote-rigging proposals immediately.”