Pilot sees ID shown at the polls

The approved election IDs notice displayed on the side of a NKDC refuge truck.
The approved election IDs notice displayed on the side of a NKDC refuge truck.

Electors in North Kesteven are set to take part in a pilot trial to make voting more secure against potential fraud.

As previously reported by the Standard, North Kesteven District Council (NKDC) is to trial the new identification procedure which voters must follow at the polls.

Now NKDC has released an approved list of 30 forms of identification that will be accepted when voters visit their local polling stations on May 2.

The list for photo ID is as follows:

* A passport issued by a Commonwealth country or a country within the European Economic Area;

* A photocard driving licence (including provisional);

* A photocard parking permit issued as part of the Blue Badge scheme;

* A concessionary travel pass funded by HM Government;

* A Ministry of Defence Identity Card;

* A PASS scheme card (national proof of age standards scheme);

* An identity card issued in the European Economic Area which bears a photograph of the voter;

* A biometric immigration document issued in the United Kingdom;

* An Oyster 60+ pass;

* An electoral identity card issued in Northern Ireland.

If you don’t have one of the photo IDs listed above, you’ll need to bring two types of ID. At least one of them must contain your name and address, and must be presented in hard copy.

The list is as follows:

* a Poll Card for the election

* a driving licence (including a provisional licence) which is not in the form of a photocard;

* a valid bank or building society debit card or credit card;

* a mortgage statement dated within 12 months of election day;

* a bank or building society statement, or a letter from the bank or building society confirming the opening of an account, dated within 3 months of election day

* a bank or building society cheque book or building society passbook;

* a credit card statement dated within 3 months of election day;

* a Council Tax demand letter or statement dated within 12 months of election day;

* a utility bill dated within 3 months of election day;

* a Form P45 or Form P60 issued within 12 months of election day;

* a National Insurance card or letter issuing your NI number;

* a statement of benefits or entitlement to benefits, or a letter confirming entitlement to housing benefit;

* a birth certificate;

* a marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate;

* an adoption certificate;

* a student loan statement issued by the Student Loan Company dated within 12 months of election day.;

* a firearms certificate granted under the Firearms Act 1968;

* the record of a decision on bail made in respect of the voter.

Full details of the list will also be on the poll card sent out later in March.

The newly signed order, which puts into law the Electoral Integrity Pilot trial within the district, details the final list of approved IDs from which voters can chose on this occasion.

They can use either one type of photo ID, most of which are commonly available such as passport, driving licence or bus pass, or two types on non-photo ID such as the poll card, which every registered elector will receive shortly, in association with a bank card, cheque book, or council tax or utility bill.

For the district and parish council elections in May, North Kesteven is one of 10 councils working with the Cabinet Office to test ways to make voting more secure against potential fraud.

District councillors approved at last December’s full council for the authority to work with the Government to pilot Voter ID trials at the local elections on May 2, 2019.

It is an initial stage towards the intended national rollout of the need for all electors to present some form of identification at the next scheduled General Election.

At this stage it does not apply to anywhere else in Lincolnshire – only within North Kesteven. Postal voting is unaffected.

Elections returning officer, council chief executive Ian Fytche who is overseeing the pilot, said: “For North Kesteven we have opted to trial the ‘Mixed ID’ model which gives the broadest range of possible forms of identification to ensure no-one is disenfranchised.

“With the final list of approved IDs now published and available on our website, most people will see that they have one of the accepted forms of photo ID already, and that is all they need.

“Where they don’t, they have the opportunity to choose two other forms of ID, one of which must have their registered name and address on. With their Poll Card and Council Tax bill being sent shortly, a bank card or cheque book, again they meet the requirement with ease.

“There are lots of options presented, more so than the choice of ID needed to collect a parcel or hire a car perhaps. And, to ensure no-one misses out, those who can’t produce the required ID, can apply for a Local Elector Identification to be created for them.

At the polling station, they are going to have to provide another type of non-photo ID to ensure they meet the two types of ID i.e. poll card. Don’t want to go into much detail as hope that there won’t be many applications

“Being a part of 2019’s trials presents a valuable opportunity for a progressive and forward-thinking Council such as ours to explore the challenges and possibilities presented by Voter ID and to assess its implications for areas similar to our own in terms of the demographic profile of the local electorate”.

“Although we are not aware of any incidence of electoral fraud within our area, the principle is around securing the integrity of an individual’s vote and removing the potential for fraud to occur, so that everyone can be confident in the democratic process and ensure fair representation.

“As a council which greatly values active participation and dialogue with its electorate, I am sure that people will appreciate our exploration of ways to tighten the system and remove risks and opportunities for fraudulent representation to occur.

“Ultimately, with the co-operation of our residents, we will be able to provide further insight to the Government into how best to secure the voting process.”

Minister for the Constitution, Chloe Smith MP said: “I am pleased North Kesteven is taking part in the 2019 pilots. Their participation will help us gain a deeper understanding of how voter ID will work on a wider scale ahead of a national rollout, and see what works best for voters.

“We want people to have confidence that our elections are safeguarded against any threat or perception of electoral fraud.

“People are already required to show ID to pick up a parcel from the Post Office, rent a car, or apply for benefits and this is a common sense next step to securing the integrity of our elections.”