Voter Identification

June 8th, 2020 by James Goudie KC

In Coughlan v Minister for the Cabinet Office (2020) EWCA 723 the Court of Appeal upholds the dismissal of a challenge to the lawfulness of a pilot scheme to require voters in certain local authority areas to produce identification documentation as a pre-condition to obtain a ballot paper to enable them to vote. The scheme was under Section 10(2)(a) of the Representation of the People Act 2000. This was a permissible restriction, not on the right to vote, but on “how” voting is to take place. “How” is a broad and general concept and covers an experimental scheme requiring identification at the polling station to demonstrate that entitlement.

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