Despite unsubstantiated left-wing fearmongering, the introduction of photographic ID during today’s local elections has had ‘no significant’ impact, the Association of Electoral Administrators has confirmed.
The comments come amid a longstanding, often heated debate over photographic ID being required for the very first time at British elections, with some left-wing activists claiming high numbers of people had been turned away from polling stations.
“We’re already seeing countless examples of people being denied their right to vote due to these new laws,” said Jess Garland, director of policy at the Electoral Reform Society, an organisation that was mocked over recent ‘anti-facial recognition’ comments.
However, the Association of Electoral Administrators said it was not aware of any significant issues and insisted polling day was “running as smoothly as usual”.
The association’s Chief executive, Peter Stanyon, said: “Polling day appears to be running as smoothly as usual, which is testament to the months of planning and hard work from returning officers and electoral administrators running today’s elections.
“We hope the rest of the day continues along the same lines.”
Meanwhile, Craig Westwood, the director of communications of the Electoral Commission, reassured voters they could still use expired ID at polling stations as long as it still looked like them.
“There is a specific list of around 20 [forms of ID]… If you’ve got an ID which has expired that doesn’t matter as long as it still looks like you,” he told Sky.
Meanwhile, Sir Keir Starmer said: “I don’t want to see anybody turning up not knowing that they needed ID, because the government bore full responsibility for making sure that everybody who can vote knows they have got to bring that ID.
“We will be watching carefully to see where responsibility lies.”
The Labour Party, however, has been accused of hypocrisy, after it was revealed that photographic ID is required to attend most Labour Party meetings.
Furthermore, in relation to the new requirement this polling day, all voters in the UK were offered a free ID card should they not already have one – meaning that those who do not vote today due to not possessing ID, have only themselves to blame.
The Tories are still currently far behind Labour in the polls. One recent Opinium survey predicted Sir Keir’s party winning 44% of the vote, compared to the Tories on 26%.
Speaking at an event on Wednesday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak reportedly told colleagues: “We should be prepared that tomorrow night is going to be hard for us.
“Good councillors will lose their seats because of all that has happened over the past year.”
He added: “I’ve only been Prime Minister for six months but I do believe we’re making good progress. Just think about where we were then and where we are now.”
Tory party chairman Greg Hands also claimed his party could lose around 1,000 council seats.
With the polling stations now officially closed, the counting of votes is currently underway, with results expected to trickle in throughout the night and early hours of the morning.