Photo ID requirement poses barrier to some voters in local elections

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A number of people were left unable to cast ballots in local elections as they did not bring valid photo ID.

Others had to make two trips to the polling booth as they did not initially bring photo ID.

The local elections mark the first time voters in Great Britain have been required to show photo ID at polling stations before casting their ballot.

James Toft, 41, was unable to vote in Chesterfield this morning as he had forgotten his photo ID.

Although he said the refusal was “partly his fault,” he added: “The ID requirement is silly.”

Mr Toft believes the requirement to bring photo ID to the polling booth could be detrimental to people voting, telling the PA news agency: “They’ll take a look at what you need to do and just not bother voting, especially the younger ones, what about the less well off who can’t afford a passport or other forms (of identification)?

Gillian Long, 42, said ID requirements are “a load of rubbish” after she was stopped from voting by an administration error between her ID and the registration system in East Riding, Yorkshire.

Ms Long told PA that her address “wasn’t down right on their system”.

She said: “I’ve lived there six years and never had an issue.”

Ms Long, who works as a bespoke tailor, added that she was told to ring the council, but when she spoke to another woman at the polling station, she was eventually allowed to vote.

She said: “Luckily I was quite determined to vote, so I decided to question it.

“I called my other half to warn him before he goes to vote this evening that our address is wrong, and he said he’s not going to bother voting.”

Ms Long said: “If you want people to vote, you should make it as easy as possible, and they’ve added a barrier.”

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