When you’re 22 and have been asked to provide ID before being allowed to buy a can of energy drink it’s hard to understand why people are getting hot under the collar because the government would like us to prove our identity before being able to cast our vote.
As a 22-year-old Tom McCann asks what all the fuss is about?
The announcement in today’s Queen’s speech that voters will require photo ID before being able to vote in a General Elections seems to have been greeted with a degree of anger and upset among commentators and opposition politicians.
Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy accused the Government of prioritising ‘voter suppression’. Really?
Government critics have raised a number of issues regarding this potential move, branding it ‘illiberal’ while others like Mr Lammy also shout ‘voter suppression’!
Staggeringly I even heard someone suggest that the Queen should veto the idea! Again REALLY? I’m sure if she did then that same person would probably be one of the first to cry ‘constitutional crisis’ and deem her intervention ‘unprecedented’… such is the hypocrisy running rampant through our political system at the moment.
But really—where is this anger coming from? And how is this illiberal?
If I need photo ID to buy a can of an energy drink, surely I should require photo ID to vote? Is there even genuine tangible proof that this is voter suppression?
It was on election day last week that the Liberal Democrats’ Nick Perry was one of many politicians to post this image on social media.
All you currently need to do to vote is walk in and give your name and address and my understanding is that polling officers are required to do no more than simply take your word for it that you are who you say you are. But you could be anyone, purporting to be anyone, and how would they know any better, especially last week when we were legally bound to – literally – conceal our identity behind a mask.
Fraud is on the rise and to me it seems only sensible to put measures in place to prevent a potential fraud when it comes to electing our political leaders and key decision makers.
Others might say it will hurt the young but how many young people in this day and age are without an ID? We need them everywhere – yes even to buy that can of energy drink!
If anything, surely this hurts the Conservative’s own voter-base more than anyone else, given the number of elderly who struggle with technology and whose only form of ID is often an out of date passport – or am I clutching on to a stereotype?
Everyone I know has a form of photo ID. You can’t really live without one anymore.
Let’s imagine it becomes law to show ID before you can vote and we all know we must take our ID with us. The on the day you don’t take it and then you are turned away for not having it, is it the government’s fault you didn’t vote, or is it yours? Where is our sense of personal responsibility?
Is it a pub’s fault when they turn away a 19-year-old for not having ID, or is it the 19-year-old’s because they forgot to bring it with them?
‘Voter turnout will decrease’, critics wail – but if needing to take ID with you is what causes you not exercise your democratic right is it the government’s fault you didn’t vote or is it yours?
Okay why should you be required to prove who you are to vote in a democracy? It’s almost a natural reaction to say you shouldn’t. Even to ask leaves a bad taste in your mouth and seems a backwards thing to do. But REALLY… why?
I like to rag on the Tories, especially with regards to their treatment of the young, but if we’re going to do that, then let’s at least do it honestly and over something valid and worth our while.
Requiring photo ID to prove who you are in order to vote is not that – I have to provide ID all the time providing it to allow me to vote is no big deal!
All this is making something out of essentially nothing—because in reality we really have it far better than we like to let on, don’t we?