13th September 2023
Solace statement on Electoral Commission’s report on Impact of Voter ID
Responding to the Electoral Commission’s report on the impact of Voter ID on local elections, Mark Heath, Solace spokesperson for Elections & Democratic Renewal said:
“We welcome the release of this report and commend Returning Officers and their teams who, as always, did a thoroughly professional job in the May 2023 elections. However, the introduction of Voter ID, and other subsequent changes, mean challenges associated with the way the future polls are run will persist.
“For many voters, the May 2024 elections will be their first experience with the new ID requirements for voting. We take note of the Electoral Commission’s comments and echo the concerns of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Democracy that the capacity and resilience of election teams remains a key issue. The view of our members remains that both the Government and the electoral sector may not yet be adequately prepared to execute phase two of the Electoral Act 2022 provisions without incurring a disproportionate level of risk. However, in the event the Government proceeds with these measures, Returning Officers and their teams will, as ever, seek to deliver safe and secure elections to the best of their ability.
“As we move forward, safeguarding the integrity of our democracy must be paramount and that includes a careful assessment of the risks and changes to democratic processes. In particular, we are calling on government to ensure that any changes to legislation and associated guidance must be in place at least six months ahead of a scheduled election to avoid building in additional risk through a lack of clarity and consistency of national guidance.”