back to article Election watchdog makes ID card U-turn

UK election scrutineers are pushing for polling stations to require tougher proof of identity to reduce the risk of ballot-rigging, but do not want voters to be forced to bring photo ID. The stance is a reversal of statements made by Electoral Commission chairman Sam Younger just a year ago. Launching the Electoral Commission …


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  1. dervheid

    Fraudulent voting can be reduced to zero...

    by the simple, expedient method of the abolition of democracy, and the removal of the need for elections.

    It's what the NuLabourians want in the long run.

    Isn't it?

  2. John Robson Silver badge


    Which you then give to the head of the house to post.

    This is not a way to prevent head of house fraud.

  3. Avi

    They can't do that!

    I've always loved how open to rigging the system is, and how it seems no-one can be arsed to take advantage of this In any dishonest way...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    more ID to vote, now that's an idea to further reduce the ever dwindling voter turn out and help keep NuGov in power.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this so....

    Consultants can download it and then loose it.

    Birth date & NI number, do they actually know how easy it is to find those out?

  6. James
    Paris Hilton

    Absurdly insecure

    It always seemed absurdly insecure to me that we aren't already required to produce photo ID before voting; literally anyone who knows me could turn up at my local polling station, give my name and address and cast my ballot without me knowing! Presumably that would be discovered if I turned up later to cast my vote, only to be told that "I" had already voted - but that's a pretty feeble excuse, not to mention being totally worthless if anyone knows I'm on holiday that day, for example, or have told someone I won't be bothering to vote this time.

    Paris, because even she could do a better job of securing a voting system.

  7. M
    Black Helicopters

    I saw some graffiti once...

    "If voting actually mattered then it would be made illegal."

  8. Colin Millar

    Pleeeeeeeeeese think of the children

    Lets all cut off our heads and run around chicken-like

    A man did a bad thing so lets make all men illegal

    Make up your own panic story and release it as this weeks Governnment reason for banning something, electronicising something, taking our picture (again), making all people carry 'I am not a terrorist' cards.

    Is no-one ingovernment capable of simple thought any more. The desired outcome of the electoral system is that it should represent the will of the electorate. Parliamentary constituencies have c70k voters each. To subvert the will of the people in a single constituency you would have to adopt Merkin methods - i.e. get the police to stop black people from voting, get the attorney general to disenfranchise whole areas. Successful attacks on electoral systems are always inside jobs. The threat of manipulation by false registration is a scare story designed to promote big government.

  9. A J Stiles
    Thumb Up

    @ Colin Millar

    You're right.

    What prevents James's scenario from happening in practice is that most Presiding Officers know every voter who will be using their polling station anyway.

  10. Tony Humphreys

    Secure - for who!

    So anyone will be able to register at my address, and then apply online for a loan (sent electronically) and verify themselves as being on the electrol roll at my address.

    I know I would not be liable, but try telling that to a debt collector or baliff on your doorstep.

    Electrol rolls should be for that purpose only, and not for any other.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    vote ?

    I always thought you needed the electoral card in your name that gets sent to your address. So no, you can't just walk in off the street and vote in my name. Unless you intercepted my mail too. And stop with the photo id crap. It is easier to change my appearance than change a photo on an "official" id card.

  12. Zmodem

    with a national £19bn id card

    you could slip it in a atm and touch who you want to vote for

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Actually, the poll card is sent as a reminder to the individual, but states on its reverse that it is does not need to be produced to be able to vote (although it does make life a little easier for the poll clerk to locate your entry and then issue your ballot papers).

    It is somewhat ironic though that a majority of the fraud committed at elections particularly in relation to postal voting, was carried out by people affiliated to various political parties (be they the candidates or relatives/friends of them), rather than the average member of the public looking to gain other benefits from being registered.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Somehow I do not think the electoral commissioner is really worried about electoral fraud by more about collecting information and building up a database in on people.

    The fact is that the British electoral system has fraud inbuilt into the system itself.

    First the system is based on residential based land ownership not citizenship.

    Second the first-past-the-post voting system is non-representative and widely open to abuse and manipulation. It was designed back in the days of the 18th century when most people could not read write.

    If the commissioner were serious he would advocate electoral reform and the introduction of a preferential voting system which would better reflect the diversity and political opinion of the nation.

    Instead of single member geographical based electorates Britain should have multi-member electorates elected by a preferential proportional Single Transferable vote.

    People are disenfranchised by the system itself

    Until they implement change in the system, it is not worth voting,

    More information

  15. Oldfogey

    Head of Household

    According to the law, and as stated on the voter registration form, the Head of the Household is legally responsible for the correct information being provided.

    The snag is...

    There is no such person!

    After some research I spoke to our local electoral officer, and asked who would be prosecuted if the form was not sent back.

    She had absolutely no idea, as the term has no legal meaning if the property is owned or rented in joint names!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone asks for my NI no

    I refer them them to the official guidance ( which states that your NI no should only be revealed to your employer (plus 4 other busybodies with whom I have no dealings) .

  17. Anonymous Coward

    we're in the same (sinking) boat

    I used to just go to my polling place and the little old ladies always knew who i was and everything was fine. we would chat, they would give me my ballot; i would vote against as many idiots, pinkos, and presi-tards as possible and watch as they filed it in the box and go my way. Now i have to present ID (which neither side needs) and which nobody really examines and go through the same thing. Some improvement? I think not. Just another win for the stasi here. The commies must be rolling over in their graves...LOL

    I'll just slip on my coat and head for the exit now, thanks.

  18. David Farrell

    Crazy system

    The UK must be one of the only countries in the world that allows non-citizens to vote in national elections. Any citizen of a commonwealth country who is resident in the UK may vote. It must also be one of the only countries in the world that allows people to vote without providing any proof of ID. Most other countries not only require voters to produce a passport or identity document to vote, but also mark voters with an indelible ink so that there is absolutely no chance of someone voting more than once.

  19. Richard

    British Voters

    IIRC to be able to vote in Britain you must be a British citizen...... and what do all British citizens have?? A PASSPORT woah problem solved, where can I claim my millions of pounds in consultancy fees to come up with that gem?

  20. An nonymous Cowerd

    Peter Wright _Spycatcher

    I'm sure he mentiond that one of the Security Services had full and total capability of seeing who voted for whom at each election, but didn't routinely use this tracking capability built into the numbered ballot papers. Is there another U-turn on the cards?

  21. Chris G

    Go ahead

    Make it more difficult to vote and reduce the percentage of the population that will bother. Still on the plus side the candidates will probably be able to go and talk personally to the few that do register and still be home in time for corrie.

  22. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    @British Voters

    Richard said "what do all British citizens have?? A PASSPORT woah problem solved,"

    Err, no, because, amazingly, not everyone has a passport, nor a driving licence, nor any other sort of photo ID.

    I know quite a lot of people who neither drive, nor who wish to travel abroad, so how are they going to be permitted to vote? They have enough trouble opening bank accounts or getting credit cards because the banks and card companies make the erroneous assumption that "everyone has a passport or a driving licence", now you're suggesting that it should be made harder for them to vote too?

  23. Jon G

    Poll Tax Dodgers

    I seem to recall in the dim and distant past that many thousands of voters "disappeared" from the electoral register when the poll tax was introduced in the late 80's. I wonder what happened to them ? Were they all subsequently fined ? Or are they still missing off the register ?

  24. Walking Turtle

    Genuine Humanity is what seems squelched at the heart.

    @ Colin Millar: > Is no-one in government capable of simple thought any more.

    Um, anyone here in this pub who has a NetFlix viewing account, and who also cares as much for the truth of this specific matter as many (myself included) do, just might benefit from an Instant View of a certain most germane and utterly imho cogent independently-produced flick. No violence at all, very little "action" (by commercial sense and standards) to be seen, which might sound odd at first. But kindly do hear this out?

    In fact, if this one bores the Gentle Reader /cum/ viewer, I just might be YouTubed while eating a big piece of my Funny Hat right here on the Intertube Pipes.

    It's not very much to some, really - needn't actually mean /anything./ It's only half a dozen or so native-born Cambodian survivors of the Bad Old (and Now No More) Pol Pot/Kampuchea State Security apparat's "Homeland Security" operative unit (dubbed "S-21", as I remember). They are found at filming-time, now many years after the fall of Pol Pot, engaging in utterly civil, utterly to-the-point, brutally honest eye to eye conversation on-prison-site with their now-disgraced and now-civilian-again former State torturers and jailers. In fluent, direct, plain-spoken Cambodian. With English subtitles.

    Just search the NetFlix site for the term "Khmer Rouge" in the title. Then please and kindly DO watch that flick exactly once, all the way through. (Makes "My Dinner With Andre" look a little like a Silly Walk in the La-La Park imho, and "Andre" is a bit of a mind-blower of a classic indy flick in its own right.)

    One might, while viewing, even go so far as to compare the narrative and conversations of the formerly-tortured and their own former torturers with each other to the as-found machinations and dullthuddery of ones' own (much less /intense/) manifestly systematically-contrived Institutions of Sociohumanoid Obfuscation and Obliteration, one thinks. Beyond that, the still-past-due little matters of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and a still-undisclosed number of black-hole torture sites STILL(!) in use today all over the planet just might seem to fall into sharp perspective for a painful little while, in passing while watching.

    Then one might ask ones' self once more: What is it at the heart of (maybe even all) mass-scale governmental operations that reliably, inexorably over time first sclerotises and then completely removes that civilizing veneer of independent human mentation from the cerebral cortex of those who "Must be strong, steadfast, determined in the execution of their duties" as-heaped down from The Top all upon the shuddering Rest of Us?

    The Boffin, because dammit, history is for LEARNING from, and definitely NOT for twisting /ex/ /post/ /facto/ (let alone /in/ /situ,/ as was the Campuchean wont at the very least) to suit the convenience of the occasion, thank you very much indeed. And now for me coat; must be off again.

    Mine's the lab coat, of course, with Sun Tsu's "The Art of War" in the Right pocket, a really decent translation of the Tao Te Ching in the Left pocket, and a LCD I Ching Lookup Device in the Breast (Heart) Pocket. I'll be off now; many irons to turn; hearts and minds, y'know. Ah, but wrapping it up:

    Fact: All the collated evidence points to the extreme likelihood that our present-day "World Leaders" would do very well indeed to do as Old King Wen sure did more'n likely get told by The Great Oracle more than once in his illustrious lifetime: "Do NOT use force to conquer the Universe!"

    Um, what part of all this is a Complex Systems Analyst with a fully valid License to Practice All Lawful Curmudgeonry Under Heaven to just go head-in-hole over at someone else's whim? While the entire bleeding, crippled, still-being-clubbed thing is just ho-hum allowed to just go titsup, sweet Liberty and all? Which part, do tell?

    Hint: Abolition of the Unsuitable Form of Gummint is far more legal than any first-move violent "pre-emptive" overthrow. Nothing better to stake ones' life on come push to shove, methinks.

    Um, if there could be two thumbs, the other'd be Miz Hilton, 'cause she's right near as effective as any of old Morpheus' Blue Pills. She's sure to help anyone so inclined to Go Back To Sleep the moment that cavorting Spandex vulvarity(tm) of hers sets to gyrating on the Telly-Vision, but you know that already.

    Meanwhile, the Dark Lords of Destruction are (disbelieve at your own risk, me bucko!) still gathering crikingly forceful (also unwise, VERY unwise) forces and resources even as these hand-wrought and *VERY!* *HOT!* pixels twinkle in the dark black night.

    Blackbird, fly... Straight to the heart of


    (case-sensitive, so type with care); that's pretty much All Of It in the wear-polished nutshell, complex indeed but rather neatly sorted, well-pressed and -folded, there now. Having some decent tools up 'n' ready in the noggin always helps make things much better.

    So does actually removing the falsities from the framings-up of issues and answers that we are subjected to, by way of which they who bullymander and blunder their ham-fisted topsie-downsies all senselessly down upon us do essay to keep their Power To Play The Others Dirty to aught but themselves, few as they be at all times.

    Um, methinks the hordes of chavs popping up in our faces at all odd moments are a mere diversionary tactic, I do. After all, /qui/ /bono?/

    Peace to all. I'm off again, back to the Secret Peace Industrial Complex's industriously productive Secret Labs in the Secret Caves, wherein we do indeed hone and deploy the Holy Inner Tools of Genuine Everlasting Heartily Peaceable Peace for all to have, hold, cuddle, wield and generally learn how to live with (sooner or later). Just like their neighbors all throughout this world, who surround these our very own /scheissmachers/ both warmly and lovingly (especially in all their (in)famous(ly) though well-confessed Faulty Intelligence), on all sides.

    No room nor time for the MIz Hiltons and Britney Spearses down there, no mistake. Disco parties maybe later, should we indeed overcome and abolish sufficiently well. This ain't no foolin' around.

    Um, we'll make our own robot bats if ever we need 'em.

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