Derby local elections: What residents think of new voter ID rules

Georgia Gilholy has spoken to residents ahead of the local elections
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Local elections will be held across the UK on Thursday - with 51 seats up for grabs on Derby City Council.

As reported here, you will need a valid ID to vote in person.

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Derby has been at the centre of several electoral fraud scandals in previous years.

In the 2012 Derby City Council elections, allegations were made that postal votes had been tampered with.

The investigation resulted in two people being convicted of electoral fraud and sentenced to prison.

The new voter ID laws do not impact postal voting, however.

According to the Electoral Commission, cases of electoral fraud have resulted in nine convictions and six police cautions since 2018.

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According to research conducted by the Cabinet Office in 2021, nine per cent of the British population does not possess a current and identifiable form of photo ID.

Local elections are taking place this weekLocal elections are taking place this week
Local elections are taking place this week

What do you think of the new voter ID requirements? 

Kalwinder Singh Dhindsa, a 43-year-old auctioneers clerk, told DerbyWorld he is “all for” the new guidelines.

“For too many years Derby has become synonymous with electoral fraud carried out by fraudulent voters and on occasions actual councillors who have been up for election," he said.

"I was very happy when Derby was initially chosen as a pilot city to test it out.

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“Electoral fraud seems to rear its head in Derby during every election cycle. It's always there.

"Maybe this new voter ID measure will finally put a stop to it all.

"There are too many corrupt people in our society playing the system.”

Fraser McGuire, a 19-year-old hospitality worker, said he worried that “the change will have a big negative effect on turnout for elections, and will disproportionately affect marginalised groups in society and young people". 

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“In-person voter fraud is very uncommon and the negative effects of bringing in voter ID outweigh the increased election legitimacy," he said.

Josh Broadhurst, a Derbyshire maths teacher, also expressed his doubts about the new restrictions.

“Voter ID legislation is a solution trying to find a problem, rather than a problem in need of a solution," he said.

"To add insult to injury, the criteria for valid ID are not equal across age groups.

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"If the valid IDs were equalised amongst different age groups, I'd have more sympathy for voter ID."

Graphic designer Andrew told DerbyWorld he was opposed to the new rules “in their present form” and added: "I do not drive and have not journeyed abroad so I am without a driving licence or a passport.

"I am too young for a bus pass and too old for a CitizenCard.

"I had to apply online for a certificate which, when it arrived, was simply a sheet of A4.

“I was expecting a more durable ID card of some sort.

"It all seems to be something that's been done cheaply for a quick political gain.”