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Explained: Voter ID trial on polling day

By Aubrey Allegretti, Political Reporter
New rules are being rolled out in some areas for the upcoming local elections that mean voters will have to prove who they are before casting a ballot.
The pilot scheme is designed to crack down on electoral fraud.
But it has been criticised for potentially disenfranchising large sections of voters.If your area is holding elections on Thursday 3 May, don't be caught out. Read our guide to the new "Voter ID" scheme.:: All you need to know about the local elections
Explained: Voter ID trial on polling day

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Five areas have been chosen for the trial
What's happening?Up until now, people only had to walk into a polling station and give their name and address to vote.But from Thursday, some voters will have to bring a form of ID to prove who they are before they can cast a ballot.This is to tackle personification fraud - where someone votes while pretending to be someone else.The five areas affected are Bromley, Gosport, Swindon, Watford and Woking.What ID do I need to vote, where?:: Swindon - Your poll card, or if it has been mislaid, photo ID such as a driving licence or passport:: Watford - Your poll card, or if it has been mislaid, photo ID or a valid debit or credit card:: Woking - Photo ID, such as a driving licence or bus pass:: Bromley - Photo ID or two forms of ID, including one with your address on:: Gosport - Photo ID or two forms of ID, including one with your address on
You can also apply through your local authority for an "electoral identity letter".The "electoral identity letter" costs nothing and just needs to be applied. Contact your local authority for further details.:: Local elections 2018 - why should we care?
Explained: Voter ID trial on polling day

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Voters in Watford can bring a valid debit or credit card as voter ID
Why might I need to bring ID with me to vote?The Government says it is trialling the rules to "improve the security and the resilience of the electoral system that underpins our democracy".Some of these will bring Britain in to line with Northern Ireland, where tighter rules around voter ID have existed since 1985.Ministers say it is "proportionate" to ask people to prove who they are before they vote, when that is already incumbent on people to claim benefits, rent a car or collect a parcel from the Post Office.They add that "no one will need to buy ID documents to be able to vote".
Explained: Voter ID trial on polling day

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Some charities have called the plans 'deeply flawed'
What are the criticisms of the Voter ID scheme?The Electoral Reform Society has warned the current plans are "deeply flawed" and amount to a "calculated effort" to "make voting harder for some citizens".Personification fraud is "incredibly rare", it said, and the introduction of mandatory ID checks "poses more problems than solutions".Other charities and campaign groups opposed to the change include Age UK, Stonewall, Liberty and the Salvation Army.
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Less than two weeks before the first election trial, the Equality and Human Rights Commission also cautioned it could have a "disproportionate impact" on voters from minority groups.Labour has called for the "dangerous" plans to be "abandoned", the party's shadow minister for voter engagement saying that "the Tories appear more determined to exclude people from the democratic process".
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