No, nope and Hell No

Changing the law to force people to show photo ID to take part in UK elections

This is just the ID card thing all over again. We have specific photo ID cards for specific things – drivers’ licences, passports and so on. We don’t have a citizen ID card. But the powers that be have wanted to have one for decades now. This is just another attempt to shoehorn one in.

No. Fuck off.

32 thoughts on “No, nope and Hell No”

  1. Yes, let’s keep photo ID for the really important stuff like opening a library account or exchanging a bit of foreign currency, and instead trust everyone for the trivial stuff like electing a government.

  2. Tim I understand the fear but as said above photo id is already used for less important things and is balanced against preventing voter fraud. Just think about the possibility different outcomes in the USA recently and uk elections in college towns.

    As long as there’s no way to post- hoc find how I voted, like obviously not using some electronic vote counters, then I’m thoughtfully in favour of anything that verifies my voter identity.

  3. Surely the vast majority of people already have some form of photo ID already, passports, driving licence, bus-pass, library card etc etc etc, without us having to get (and no doubt pay a handsome fee for) a government mandated ID card.

  4. I don’t have a driving licence, bus pass, library card, passport, etc.

    I live in Northern Ireland and we have a specific voter ID card. I’ve never been asked to use it for anything else.

  5. Liebour’s vote will be hit hardest, especially if postal voting is made subject to ID checks. On balance, it seems having to prove one’s identity is preferable to having to accept the continued corruption of our democracy. (Trump would agree – ID checks would have produced a very different result in November.)

  6. The questions here are “Do you accept there is an issue with voter fraud and if so, what do you propose to do about it”?
    My answers would be yes, and voter ID cards. Might not be perfect, but perfect is the enemy of good.

  7. At present, in all but the twenty constituencies mentioned above, if some guy comes in giving the name and address of the clerk’s mother, the clerk has to give him a ballot paper, which goes in the box and is counted along with the rest. Sure the clerk can call the police, but the guy still gets the vote.
    It would be nice if the clerk was able to deal with such obvious fraud. It would be nice if he could deal with less obvious fraud.

  8. The problem with any form of universal ID card is the “you wouldn’t want to start from here” factor. If there’s an obligation to have one then there’s a right to have one. So how do you prove the identity of umpteen million people, a sizeable proportion of which will not have identity proving documentation in the first place? Inevitably, they’ll have to set the PoI bar at a low enough level so everyone gets a card. Producing an opportunity for anyone one wants to get their hands on some useful ID in a name not their own. Or not entitled to it in the first place

  9. The Meissen Bison

    I don’t see how a voter identity card can be made to reduce fraud unless postal voting is done away with and since that is where the large majority of voter fraud occurs, that measure on its own should sufffice while admittedly significantly shrinking the size of the poll.

    For governments, though, the quandary is how to get people to vote in the first place so that governments have a demonstrable mandate while at the same time making it harder to cast a ballot.

    The notion of civic duty evinced by commenters above is not evenly distributed throughout the population so many people will not apply for a voter ID card in the first place and others might be persuaded to if registration is compulsory or brings other benefits like a free TV licence.

    Finally, those people who currently farm postal votes will instead turn to farming the voters and paying them to get their photo ID which will simply make electoral corruption a more expensive business.

  10. @firefoxx – March 9, 2021 at 8:53 am

    As long as there’s no way to post- hoc find how I voted, like obviously not using some electronic vote counters, then I’m thoughtfully in favour of anything that verifies my voter identity.

    It’s already possible, though not a trivial exercise. Ballot papers have serial numbers on them, which the clerks note against your name in their copy of the electoral register for the ward. So it is (technically) possible to search out your ballot paper to see whether you should be sent to the Gulag or otherwise… But it would be a pig of a job.

    Re “fraud” – IMHO postal voting is a far easier route than personation – which requires numbers of volunteers, organisation and transport. It’s a lot more expensive and unwieldy than simply registering twenty people to the same two-bedroom flat and just harvesting the ballot papers. Certainly should be treated as far more of a priority than immediate voter ID.

  11. The wailing from the usual suspects in that Guardian article is enough to make this worth considering. The Traveller bit is hilarious.

    – I live in Northern Ireland and we have a specific voter ID card. I’ve never been asked to use it for anything else.

    Make it illegal for it to be used for anything else. Make it minimum A5 so it’s not something you’d usually carry around.

  12. I’m all in favour of voter ID but let’s be honest; the authorities already hand out UK Passports like sweets seemingly to any third-worlder that asks, so why would ID cards be any different?

    More seriously, as others have pointed out, the real problem is the expansion of postal voting under the last Labour regime and until something is done to verify the authenticity of postal ballots, nothing will improve.

  13. I live in Northern Ireland and we have a specific voter ID card. I’ve never been asked to use it for anything else.

    But you don’t need a voter ID card unless you don’t have driving licence or passport. Some, such as you, don’t but the majority do. A lot of these arguments were made when voter ID was changed in NI. If you want a voter ID card as you have no other suitable ID then fine, but make it voluntary.
    And yes, strictly limit postal votes.

  14. Even if it’s the weak link in the system, postal voting is sufficiently important for eg the infirm/immobile and those currently away from home that it’s hard to imagine it being abolished. Even if you did, you’d still need some other mechanism for people to votes who cannot attend in person.

    Would it just end up that proxy voting (or whatever else takes up the slack) becomes the new vulnerability instead?

  15. As usual, government takes a hammer and hits the wrong nail.

    Postal vote farming ( as others have mentioned ) is the real problem. Voter ID in NornIron was introduced due to its special circumstances and the long and noble tradition of dead people voting. My old Mum has no photo ID of any kind these days, even her blue parking pass is too out of date to use.
    Make the voter produce their polling card, arm it with a barcode for instant verification and empower the clerk(s) to demand extra ID if they think something is amiss. Let’s face it, polling stations that are too remote to have mobile/broadband/dial-up access are probably unlikely to be hotbeds of voter fraud.

  16. Fwiw I suspect a large chunk of electoral dodginess in the UK revolves around “just sign here, dear” style collection of votes from people who do exist, do have the right to vote, and do sign the paperwork themselves – so extra security measures or verification of identity is of little help. The issue is that the vote is being cast on their behalf without their full and enthusiastic involvement – if it were left down to them, they may simply not have bothered to vote at all – and most importantly, without privacy from spouse/family. Indeed it may not even be them who ticks the candidate’s box.

    If instead they had gone to the privacy of a polling station, they might well have freely selected the same candidate – but even if the outcome were the same, the process is fairer and less open to coercion. And I can’t see how that standard of fairness can be guaranteed for any form of remote voting. It’s infeasible for officials to be present to guarantee documents are signed freely and in privacy, far too expensive even if you cut the numbers eligible and utterly impractical for those staying abroad. I can certainly see a case for accepting remote voting procedures as the “least worst option” for a small minority of people and trying to reduce eligibility as tightly as possible to those who truly need it, but I can’t see a perfect solution and am sceptical that improvements in identification procedures get to the crux of the problem.

  17. In South Africa, we have an ID document. Nothing wrong with that. Can’t vote without it. Nothing wrong with that. The problem comes when they make it compulsory to provide your fingerprints when you apply for the doc (and for a passport) and they make it compulsory to carry one. Few people I know actually carry it with them. But you can’t get a bank acccount and not many companies will contract with you unless you produce the card. The document is free the first time you apply.

  18. In India, voters have their fingers coated in ink to prevent multiple voting.

    What we could do, is get voters to send in a finger with their postal votes.

    Although I have voted in 10 elections, come to think of it…

  19. I use postal voting (I often work away from home all week), so would be reluctant to see it withdrawn.

    I can see that it is the most likely method to be abused, but I’ve no idea how it could be tightened up.

  20. I’m staunchly against citizen ID cards, but I’ve no problem being asked to show something I already have in order to prove I am who I say I am when voting.

    That’s assuming I ever bother to vote again, which seems very unlikely…

  21. “Make the voter produce their polling card, arm it with a barcode for instant verification and empower the clerk(s) to demand extra ID if they think something is amiss. ”

    Let me guess, the only people they would ever ask for any ID would be little old ladies and gents who have lived in the same house since the year dot, and when some Middle Eastern chap comes in and says his name is ‘Bill Smith from 99 Acacia Avenue’ he’ll get a voting card no questions asked.

    There is absolutely no way that State employees are going to use their discretion to ask any hard questions of anyone of a slightly dusky hue as to whether they might possibly be involved in some electoral fraud or not. Not worth the candle, one allegation would finish their career.

    Any system of fraud detection needs to be hardwired into the system, not left to the discretion of people who a) probably don’t agree with voter ID anyway and b) even if they did would have a personal vested interest in not looking under that particular stone.

  22. There exists an electronic device that 97% of the adult population keeps on their person at all times, secured with a fingerprint and/or facial recognition. It’s already used for booking GP appointments, paying taxes, applying for benefits, registering EU citizens for “settled status”, and many other government services.

    Certainly wouldn’t be any worse than postal voting.

  23. I’ve been involved in elections, votes, and counts for over 25 years, any by far the biggest vector for fraud is absentee voting, not in-person personation. If you want to sway an election by fraudulently voting in person, in an 11-hour voting day you may be able to get two votes per polling station, maybe get a dozen per ward or constituency. That’s not going to sway any election, and certainly isn’t going to change any administration.*

    The vector for voting fraud is where there is no observation of the person obtaining the ballot, minimal time between each vote due to not travelling between voting locations, and several weeks to do all the voting.

    *Disclaimer, there are always the occasional tight vote, I was at a count where there were several recounts into the early hours to decide who came fourth and who came third and got the third seat in a three-member ward. It was finally decided at about 9am by drawing lots. That would have been possible to swing through fraud – but how would you have known beforehand that that vote was going to be so tight and not one of the other 27 on the same night?

    Which is another point – fraud through personation is soooooo person intensive you get tiny tiny results for huge effort, and you need the predictive planning skills of a three-times professor to decide where to pick your winners.

  24. The Public Digital Identity Wallet is to be their online ID card. (Gov.uk “consultation” finishes March 11th . Please tell the cunts what you think).

    Already talk that you wont be able to access “services” if you don’t get one. Bound to be combined with vax passport to create UK social credit system. Unless enough of us refuse.

    Dead against all ID. But also dead against 3rd world election-fixing scum being imported to UK. Peterborough stolen from Brexit Party by Labours’ 3rd world election fix squad. If anyone can think of a way of securing elections without ID shite I’d be glad. Not sure that ID documents WOULD beat election fiddlers anyway.

    My scheme to give no votes to immigrants and their offspring for 100 years backdated to start for migrants since 1/1 1997 would likely do the job –as well as being the end of Sad Dick Khan and his London Rule–but no chance of that being enacted.

  25. Tim–is yr computer hack taking the piss or what? 3rd time trying to get this comment on.

    Andrew M–Ideal for running UK social credit tyranny as well.

  26. “There exists an electronic device that 97% of the adult population keeps on their person at all times, secured with a fingerprint and/or facial recognition. ”

    You talking about cellphones, Andrew M? The market penetration of smartfones is nowhere near 97% And you lock yours? Why? I never do. If I can open o0ne up in five minutes, I presume every one else can. Not worth the trouble.

  27. It seems there are multiple issues
    qualification to vote
    ballot harvesting
    personation
    coercion
    to name but four. It’s doubtful that a single solution (ID card) would solve a diversity of problems, however hard we celebrated it.

  28. Oh good, after a pause of some years we have another to add to the list of Worstall’s Great Fallacies, now numbering Seven.

  29. I just had a terribly Machiavellian thought: maybe a positive side-effect of illegal immigration (from the point of view of the Powers that Be), is that it increases the pressure for ID cards.

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