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Home Speeches Oral Cabinet Office Questions - House of Commons - 8th February 2017

Oral Cabinet Office Questions - House of Commons - 8th February 2017

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 Voter Identification Measures

08 February 2017

Sir Simon Burns (Chelmsford) (Con)

2. What his policy is on proposals to pilot voter identification measures in polling stations. [908662]

Justin Tomlinson (North Swindon) (Con)

3. What his policy is on proposals to pilot voter identification measures in polling stations. [908663]

Henry Smith (Crawley) (Con)

5. What his policy is on proposals to pilot voter identification measures in polling stations. [908665]

The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office (Chris Skidmore)

In our response to the review of electoral fraud by my right hon. Friend the Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Sir Eric Pickles), we outlined our intention to run several pilot schemes in a number of local authority areas in 2018, the purpose of which is to test the impact on elections of asking electors to present identification before voting.

Sir Simon Burns

Does my hon. Friend agree that voting is one of a citizen’s most important duties, and that introducing proof of ID would bring voting into line with other everyday transactions such as getting a mortgage or renting a car?

Chris Skidmore

I entirely agree with my right hon. Friend. When it comes to voting, there cannot be a more important transaction someone can make over five years than to democratically elect their Member of Parliament or councillor. It is right that that process is respected and that, as for so many other transactions in the modern world, we bring it up to date. It is not acceptable for someone simply to turn up at the voting booth, point out their name and claim that as their identity. That does not happen anywhere else. It is time to bring our democracy up to date.