From travelling abroad and opening bank accounts, to applying for a job or buying alcohol in supermarkets, ID documents allow us to prove our identity in a variety of situations.
But what about using our ID documents to vote? This is the plan in the Tory manifesto if they win the election on the 8th June. Unless people show photo identification, such as a driving licence or passport, they will not be allowed to vote in future elections. In 2016, a report called for more stringent checks and tighter controls to prevent electoral fraud. Recommendations in the report included asking voters to bring identification with them to polling stations.
Whilst this would go some way to ensure people only cast one vote, it seems outdated and illogical to rely on paper ID documents. In a digital world, we need a way of identifying ourselves that is secure, mobile, and takes advantage of advancements in technology. We shouldn’t be using documents which were originally designed to show our right to travel, simply to prove our identity.
These documents can also be easily lost or stolen. In fact, more than 360,000 Brits reported their passports missing last year, and more than 10,000 people accidentally throw them out with the rubbish. Many of us have also experienced the last minute root around as we try to find our passport before going on holiday, or try to locate our driving licence before a big night out. What if you couldn’t find your ID on the day of the vote? No ID, no vote.
All I need to prove is that I am a unique individual, and therefore am entitled to cast one vote. I should not be required to share unnecessary identity details or carry around my passport on voting day and risk losing it. With replacement passports costing £72.50, that would be one costly vote indeed! There needs to be a simpler and easier way to prove my identity. A solution to this could be on the horizon…
If you have any thoughts on this topic, share them with us.