Equalities watchdog says UK government ‘voter ID’ could have bad consequences for transgender voters

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The UK government is rolling out voter ID pilots across four local areas, Watford, Bromley, Gosport, and Woking, for the local government elections next month.  According to the plan it will be required for voters to show their identity documents before being able to give their vote. The Equalities and Human Rights Commission, which enforces equality and non-discrimination laws in England, Scotland and Wales, states to be bothered about those people whose identity documents are not reflecting their actual identity — transgender people whose IDs are yet to be updated. It also warns that the rules could have an impact on older people and people from ethnic minority communities. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said it was further proof of the UK’s “hostile environment” for ethnic minorities, while Liberal Democrat Ed Davey called on the government to “make clear they that will act” to prevent people being disenfranchised by the tests. Each local authority was apparently required to complete an Equality Impact Assessment to ensure they take into account the needs of the minority groups but there is no mechanism which would force them to provide explicit details on how they make it possible for these people to vote.

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