Chris Rennard has been a member of the Liberal Democrat party for more than 40 years and was awarded a peerage in 1999. Chris Rennard has written his account of becoming involved with the Liberal Democrats with his book, “Winning Here”.
Lord Rennard in Parliament
Voter Authority Certificates
When you register to vote, you’ll be asked whether you have photo ID. If you do not have photo ID you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate. The Government estimated that around 2 million people who are on the electoral register do not have one of the forms of photo ID required this year. Around 1.6 million of those people have elections on Thursday—but the figures show that more than 1.5 million do not have the voter authority certificate and will be unable to vote on Thursday, unless by any chance they have acquired another form of photo ID in the meantime. So perhaps 1.5 million people could be denied their vote. Is the spending of £180 million of taxpayers’ money over 10 years a successful investment for the Conservatives if it blocks this many people from voting?
If the Electoral Commission’s review suggests that wider forms of ID could be accepted, such as the items on the Post Office list for collecting a parcel, will such a change be made before elections in 2024? The cost saving would be substantial. Will the Minister undertake to tell us what that saving would be? She said yesterday that the government scheme would cost £2.42 per elector. There are about 48 million electors, so that would be a cost of £116 million. Which party is this expenditure most likely to benefit?