The UK authorities mentioned on Friday it plans to spice up election integrity by stopping postal vote harvesting, limiting proxy voting, and clamping down on voter intimidation.
This follows the announcement earlier this week that voters might be required to indicate photographic ID earlier than being issued ballots at a polling station.
Beneath new measures introduced on Friday, “postal vote harvesting” might be stopped by limiting the variety of postal votes that an individual could hand in on behalf of others.
At the moment, anybody is ready to accumulate postal votes from any variety of electors and hand them in at a polling station, which the federal government mentioned presents a threat of postal votes being appropriated and stolen, or voters finishing postal poll papers underneath duress.
The brand new regulation can even ban occasion campaigners from dealing with postal votes altogether, making it a legal offence.
The brand new guidelines will prolong the secrecy provisions to absentee voting by making it an offence for an individual to aim to seek out out or reveal who a postal voter has chosen to vote for.
Whereas registration for postal votes is at present legitimate indefinitely, the brand new guidelines would require postal voters to reaffirm their identities by re-applying each three years.
New restrictions can even be imposed on proxy voting, which, underneath present guidelines, opens up the chance that somebody could possibly be coerced into appointing a proxy—notably by shut relations.
To stop abuse, the federal government plans to restrict the whole variety of folks for whom somebody can act as a proxy to 4, no matter their relationship.
Present legal guidelines already ban “undue affect” over voters, however the authorities mentioned the “outdated laws” must be modernised by, amongst different measures, explicitly itemizing intimidation of voters as a type of undue affect.
Chloe Smith, UK authorities minister for the structure and devolution, mentioned: “Stealing somebody’s vote is stealing their voice. We should go additional to guard and modernise our valuable democracy.
“Our sturdy package deal of measures will stamp out the area for such harm to happen in our elections once more and provides the general public confidence that their vote is theirs and theirs alone—irrespective of how they select to solid it.”
The federal government additionally publicised extra particulars on the requirement for voter ID when voters solid ballots in polling stations.
Beneath the brand new laws, native authorities should present a “voter card” freed from cost to anybody who wants it.
A broad vary of accepted paperwork might be accepted—not simply UK passports and driving licences, but in addition numerous concessionary journey passes and parking permits.
In keeping with authorities knowledge, 99 % of ethnic minorities have already got a type of identification that will be accepted underneath the proposals, as do 98 % of people that establish as white.