Gosport voters could be '˜locked out' of tomorrow's election polls, group warns

'˜A DEEPLY flawed' revamp on election rules could leave Gosport voters '˜locked out' of tomorrow's election, a group has warned.

Wednesday, 2nd May 2018, 6:55 am
Cllr Mark Hook

Gosport is part of a new nationwide trial which will require residents hitting the polls to bring their ID to vote.

However, the head of the Electoral Reform Society has warned the new rules could cost people the chance to vote.

Darren Hughes, society chief executivee, said: ‘These government trials, including the one being held in Gosport, are deeply flawed and it is our concern that legitimate voters will be “locked out”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

‘Despite increased publicity about the types of ID voters will be required to show, this will not have reached everyone in the borough and there is a real risk people will be sent away on Thursday having been denied their democratic right.

‘The broader picture is that mandatory ID requirements for voting is a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Neither Gosport or any of the other boroughs taking part in the trial have experienced a single instance of polling station impersonation in the past decade.’

Councillor Mark Hook, Gosport Borough Council leader, said ‘everything possible’ had been done to make voters aware, with adverts across the town, as well as 15,000 leaflets being handed out across six superstores.

On top of this, he added all political parties had been handing out fliers during their canvassing, reminding people of the changes. He said: ‘We couldn’t have done any more to advertise this change.’