Fraserburgh Councillor Condemns Voter Suppression Rules

>> 17 February 2023

Fraserburgh and District SNP councillor Seamus Logan has condemned the Conservative UK Government over new election rules which will make it more difficult to vote in a UK General Election.

Cllr Logan is a member of the Grampian Valuation Joint Board, which scrutinises the work of the Electoral Registration Office for the North-east. A recent Board meeting heard of the obstacles which voters will now have to overcome in order to cast their vote in a Westminster election. Those who do not possess photographic ID will need to apply for a little-known document called a Voter Authority Certificate and show it at the Polling Station in order to vote.

The SNP has hit out at the Tories over their efforts to restrict the voting franchise after it was revealed only 10,000 people in the UK have applied for government-issued voter ID.

It means only around 0.5% of those who may need the document have obtained the suitable form of ID required to vote in UK Parliamentary elections across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Government research has found that up to 2 million people currently lack photo ID that has a recognisable picture of them, as is required under the new law.

Commenting, Cllr Seamus Logan said:

"This has been rushed out, all with little or no public information. It seems the Tories are desperate to alter future election results in their favour by suppressing entitled voters. These numbers make it crystal clear that the Tories haven’t done enough to inform people of these changes, and that their dodgy strategy is working so far.

“Donald Trump tried similar vote suppression tactics in the USA aimed at disenfranchising the poorest people in society. It’s a disgrace, a further stain on the UK Government and an attack on democracy by the Tories.

“The SNP Scottish Government has done the opposite, instead increasing the franchise to deliver full voting rights in Scottish elections to 16- and 17-year-olds, refugees and foreign nationals with leave to remain.

“The Tories would do well to follow that lead if they have a shred of respect for basic democratic principles and the right to vote.

“As we’ve seen through their efforts to block Scotland having a say over its future, the endemic sleaze and corruption within the Tories at Westminster, and now their efforts to restrict the franchise, this is not a UK Government that respects democracy. Scotland must be able to escape and assume the full powers of independence.”

Details of how to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate may be found here:

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