Campaigns across all political parties are hotting up as we near the December 12 election date. With the release of manifestos, each party are hoping to implement changes on a wide range of issues, whether it be Brexit, the economy, the NHS or voting.
One such change the Conservatives are pledging to make is the introduction of voters showing ID before they cast their ballot.
In their election manifesto, the Tories promised to “protect the integrity of our democracy, by introducing identification to vote at polling stations, stopping postal vote harvesting and measures to prevent any foreign interference in elections.”
The pledge does not say specifically what identification that requires, but it may be photo ID such as driving licences, passports or official ID cards.
These rules would come into play should the Tories win the election on December 12.
But do you need ID to vote in this election?
Currently, you do not need to take any identification with you when you cast your vote in elections in the UK.
Any changes to voting as laid out by party manifestos will not come into being until after they are elected.
Should you be registered to vote, you will receive a polling card in the post letting you know where your polling station is.
You do not need to take your polling card with you, simply give your name and address to the polling clerk and they will do the rest.
What other changes to voting are the Conservatives promising in their manifesto?
As well as introducing voters requiring ID to place their ballot, the Tories are promising to make it easier for British ex-patriots to vote in Parliamentary election.
Their manifesto reads: “We will make it easier for British ex-pats to vote in Parliamentary elections, and get rid of the arbitrary 15-year limit on their voting rights.”
Currently, to vote in elections in the UK, ex-pats must have lived outside the UK for less than 15 years.
The Tories are also pledging to get rid of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act as: “it has led to paralysis at a time the country needed decisive action.”
The Fixed Term Parliaments Act outlines a default fixed election date for a general election.
Before this legislation was enacted in 2011, elections were held at least once every five years – with an election taking place before the end of a five-year term.
Under the FTPA, the next general election is automatically scheduled for the first Thursday in May of the fifth year after the previous general election, or the fourth year if the date of the previous election was before the first Thursday in May.
However, the point of contention among some is the FTPA provides two ways to hold an early election.
One is the Act providing a statutory basis for an early election – which takes place after a Commons vote of no confidence in the government – needing only a simple majority of those voting.
The other is a vote for an early election, which requires a qualified majority—two-thirds of the total membership of the Commons.
The Conservatives are also promising to maintain the voting age at 18 and continue to support the First Past the Post system of voting “as it allows voters to kick out politicians who don’t deliver, both locally and nationally.”