Friday 12 April 2024
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Nottingham

Councils reveal how many votes were lost due to Voter ID fails

Hundreds of Nottinghamshire people failed to cast a vote after being turned away at the May 4 local elections because of a new voter ID law.

The polls were the first in the country where people had to, by law, bring along an accepted form of ID to cast their ballots.

The Government said the new rule was introduced to clamp down on voter fraud. Critics argued it could unfairly exclude some people from voting.

Accepted ID included a passport or driving licence.

People could also apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate.

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The Electoral Commission says it will be releasing a report into the new system in June, with a full, comprehensive report due out a few months later in September.

However the impact of the new law has now been made clear in the city and wider county, with all councils having confirmed how many voters were turned away on the day having initially attempted to cast their ballot.

The new law was criticised ahead of the elections, including by Nottingham City Council’s leader, Cllr David Mellen (Lab), who said he feared it would prove a “difficulty” for some voters.

Following the election, former minister Jacob Rees-Mogg (Con) suggested the Conservative Party had introduced the law to boost their chances, but ultimately admitted it made it harder for some of the party’s own voters to cast their ballots.

And Cllr Jason Zadrozny (Ash Ind), leader of Ashfield District Council, described it as “a costly, failed experiment”.

Nottingham

Nottingham City Council says its overall polling station turnout was 21.06 per cent, or 35,703 out of 169,546 electors.

Of these, the total number of polling station electors who applied for, but were not issued a ballot paper initially and therefore unable to vote, was 476 people.

The total number of polling station electors who later returned with accepted ID and were eventually able to cast their vote was 301, the council says.

This means the total number of electors who attempted to vote, but ultimately did not vote, was 175, or just under 0.5 per cent.

Overall turnout, including postal voters, was 28.01 per cent, or 55,879 out of 199,514 electors.

Rushcliffe

Data released by Rushcliffe Borough Council shows 99.9 per cent of electors met the newly introduced voter ID requirements, with 22,425 electors voting at 73 polling stations across the Borough.

At the end of polling day 26 electors, or 0.1 per cent, who tried to vote in a polling station were not given a ballot paper because they did not meet the new rules.

The figures also show while 60 electors were initially turned away, 34 returned with acceptable ID and were able to vote.

This means 56.7 per cent of those initially turned away returned and were issued with a ballot paper.

Broxtowe

Broxtowe Borough Council says 99.9 per cent of electors voting in Broxtowe polling stations brought photo ID that met newly introduced voter ID requirements for local elections on 4 May.
Figures released by the council on May 18 show 21,306 electors voted at 80 polling stations across the borough.
At the end of polling day 25 electors, or 0.1 per cent, who tried to vote in a polling station, were not given a ballot paper because they did not meet the new voter ID requirements and had not returned with acceptable ID.
The figures also show while 64 electors were initially turned away, 39 returned with acceptable ID and were able to vote.
This means 60.9 per cent of those initially turned away returned and were issued with a ballot paper.

Gedling

The total number of polling station electors who went to vote, but were unable to, was 80 electors.

The total number of polling station electors who later returned with accepted ID and were issued with a ballot paper was 62, meaning of the final total of those who did not cast a vote by close of poll was 18.

This means 99.9 per cent of people who attended a polling station were able to vote on the day.

Of the electors initially unable to vote, the percentage who later returned with accepted ID and were issued with a ballot paper was 77.5 per cent.

Bassetlaw

On May 4, 70 people, or 0.4 per cent, of electors were turned away initially.

Of these, 40 people later returned with the correct ID, while 30 failed to return and cast a vote by the end of the day.

This means 57.1 per cent of electors, who were initially turned away, returned before polls closed.

In total 99.8 per cent were able to vote.

Ashfield

The total number of polling station electors who applied for, but were not issued with a ballot paper initially was 106, equating to 0.6 per cent of the electorate.

The total number of polling station electors who later returned with accepted ID and were issued with a ballot paper was 51.

So 55 people, or 0.3 per cent, were unable to, or chose, not to vote.

Cllr Jason Zadrozny (Ash Ind), leader of Ashfield District Council, said: “Voter ID has been a costly, failed experiment.

“We always said that this amounted to voter suppression by the Tories.

“The fact that 55 residents lost their democratic right to vote is gerrymandering.

“The Tories only won two seats in the whole district by a total of 55 votes. That was the whole reason this was introduced countrywide .

“Now, Jacob Rees-Mogg has admitted it was exactly that. This should shame the Government. We are calling for Voter ID to be scrapped.”

Mansfield 

Mansfield District Council says 43 people initially we’re not issued ballot papers due to either not having ID, or having invalid forms of ID.

In total 16 of these returned and were issued with a ballot paper.

Newark and Sherwood

 Newark and Sherwood District Council says 69 people were initially not issued with a ballot paper because they did not have accepted ID.
Of these people, 37, or 53.62 per cent, later returned to cast their vote.

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