Elections bill will disenfranchise voters

Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley is urging the UK Government to reconsider its elections bill.

If approved, the bill would force registered voters to show ID before casting their ballots as well as watering down the powers of the Electoral Commission.

In Lanark and Hamilton East, potentially as many as 3,100 voters could be turned away from polling stations and denied their democratic right to cast their ballot all because they don’t have the necessary ID.

Across South Lanarkshire, there could be up to 13,000 voters in a similar circumstance.

Last week, the elections bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons.

Commenting, Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley said: “Boris Johnson’s plans to disenfranchise thousands of voters in Lanark and Hamilton East are an act of blatant voter suppression.

“Voting is every citizen’s democratic right and we should be encouraging more people to participate in elections instead of turning them away.

“There is a very real danger that many lower income, ethnic minority and younger people will be prevented from voting to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.

“Even more worrying are the plans to water down the powers of the Electoral Commission which could result in less scrutiny and accountability of parties and candidates.

“The Electoral Commission should remain independent from government interference so that it can continue to ensure candidates are held to the high standards expected of them.

“These proposals are designed to suppress votes among groups that traditionally vote against the Tories and I would urge MPs to reject them when they come back before the house.”