Dozens of people turned away in Gosport voter ID trials

Gosport Borough Council turned away 116 potential voters yesterday as they did not have the correct ID at polling stations.

Friday, 4th May 2018, 1:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 5:34 pm
The count at Gosport last night Picture: Duncan Shepherd

Officials were forced to deny residents the right to vote after they presented the incorrect form of ID or had no form of identification on them at the time.

Of the 116 eager votes sent away, 72 fetched their correct ID and returned to successfully place their vote.

A remaining 44 did not return to the polling station and were unable to vote.

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The council's customer services and electoral services teams were standing by to help any residents with queries about bringing ID to vote. Left to right: Casey, Tash, Liz, Lauren and Zdenek

The borough was one of five authorities – the others being Bromley, Swindon, Watford and Woking – chosen to test the use of ID voting in yesterday’s local elections.

The move is part of a trial being overseen by the government to combat electoral fraud.

Voters were asked to bring one form of photo ID, like a passport or driving licence.

Residents without a photo ID could show two forms of non-photo ID, like a council tax bill and a bank statement.

Michael Lawther, the council’s returning officer overseeing the Gosport trial, thanked voters who did bring their correct ID to the station.

He said: ‘We ran a very extensive publicity campaign to tell people they needed to bring ID, and what types of ID were acceptable.

I would like to thank voters for their co-operation and for helping us with this exercise.’

A total of 20,612 people voted yesterday, with the vast majority of voters bringing the right ID to the polls.

Turnout was 33.29 per cent, an increase on the 31.98 per cent at the last borough election in 2016.