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Democracy is the right to vote. And measures that – without good reason – remove or inhibit the right to vote are its enemy.
And this is what the new rules, requiring prescribed types of photo ID before you can vote, do. For no good reason, and at enormous public expense, they disenfranchise people – deprive people of their democratic rights.
And they must be challenged – before the next general election.
Good Law Project has obtained legal advice from a legal team led by a specialist King’s Counsel. That advice identifies that there is a sensible legal challenge to be brought to those rules. The precise prospects of success will depend on evidence that is still emerging. But the importance of the right to vote is such that measures that inhibit it cannot go unchallenged.
The Election Act 2022 provides a list of valid government-accepted photo IDs. This list has forms of ID targeted at the older generation, such as a 60+ Oyster Card. However, almost none are for young people, not even the Young Persons Railcard. The consequence will be to inhibit the right to vote for young people. Needless to say, it is young people who are least likely to vote for the Government. The measures will also have discriminatory effects on other people who the evidence shows are less likely to have photo ID.
We will monitor the effects and impacts of these discriminatory provisions at the upcoming local elections. And then we will bring litigation to test the lawfulness of them.
Come the next General Election, no one should have their right to vote impeded.