New checks on postal and proxy voting announced

By Mark Whitehead | 24 May 2023

Further checks to ensure there is no fraud when people vote by post or proxy could soon be introduced, according to the Government.

Voters will have to reapply for postal votes every three years instead of every five years and people will be able to cast fewer proxy votes, which allow people to cast ballots without having to go to a polling station in person.

The new regulations will limit the total number of electors for whom a person may act as a proxy to four and will introduce an identity check for all applications.

Ministers said the changes will ‘deliver on our manifesto commitment to protect the integrity of our democracy’ and ‘reduce the opportunity for individuals to exploit the absent voting process and steal votes'.

However, charity director at Age UK, Caroline Abrahams, said the new policy 'seems disproportionate,’ adding: ‘Rather than strengthening our democracy our worry is that it will weaken it if some older people with postal votes find it too hard to submit their ID or to re-register every three years and simply give up.’

The introduction of voter ID led to an estimated one in 100 people being turned away from polling stations.

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