Local AM backs democracy week with call for UK Government to scrap plans that would suppress voter turnout

Aberavon Assembly Member, David Rees, has called on the UK Government to scrap controversial plans  to prevent people from voting unless they carry photographic ID at polling stations.This week (14-20 of October) is national democracy week which is about local representatives using their experience, insight and passion in their communities to increase democratic participation.

The Assembly Member believes that UK Government proposals announced in the recent Queens Speech will see millions of voters unable to cast their vote. The Electoral Commission has reported that 3.5 million electors – 7.5% of the electorate – would have no acceptable piece of photo ID.  Under the government’s proposals, these voters would either be denied a vote entirely, or in other trial areas, required to produce multiple pieces of ID.

The proposals are in stark contrast to Welsh Labours successful campaign to allow sixteen and seventeen year olds to vote in the next Senedd elections.

David Rees AM said “These plans risk denying residents in Aberavon the right vote. Not everyone has photo ID and It is clear these proposals will disproportionately affect people on low incomes and other vulnerable groups. These are groups that have been most impacted by ten years of Tory austerity.”

“I am proud to be part of a Welsh Labour Party that wants to extend the franchise and has successfully campaigned for votes for 16 and 17 year olds. These people are the future and should have a real say in their nation and its future, stifling democracy by making people purchase the acceptable photo ID or bring multiple authorised ID along with them, the types of ID many young people would not have.”

“I am calling upon the UK Government to rethink their proposals which would disenfranchise voters in our community.”