Labour hits out at ID trial as voters 'turned away from polling stations'
Labour has slammed new voter identification trials amid reports of people being turned away from polling stations.
The new scheme, which requires voters to provide ID before being allowed into voting booths, is being trialled for the first time in Bromley, Gosport, Swindon, Watford and Woking at the local elections today.
However, reports have emerged of people without the correct documents being turned away from polling stations.
Labour MP Ellie Reeves, whose Lewisham West constituency covers Bromley tweeted: “Just been to vote. Was informed that two people had already turned up without ID this morning so had been unable to vote.
“Very worrying and backs up all the evidence that the voter ID pilot in Bromley is plain wrong.”
Concerns have been raised that voters may not have been informed of the rule change, and that the forms of ID required are inconsistent across the different trial areas, causing confusion among residents.
Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement Cat Smith, hit out at ministers over the debacle, accusing them of ignoring from the Equality and Human Rights Commission and charities that the trials would have "a disproportionate impact on older people, young people, BME communities, trans people, and disabled people".
She added: “This was always going to be a sledgehammer to crack a nut [...] But instead of listening to the experts and the vast evidence base, the Government decided to implement a mistaken policy with the full knowledge that voters could be disenfranchised.
“The fact that voters were denied their right to vote is proof that voter ID has no place in our democracy.”