The Times – Political Picture<br/> Voters should have to produce identification before casting ballots

The Government offers the sense that it would prefer a flawed election to one that might involve more intense obligations on voters who are already reluctant to vote in the current lax fashion.

This will not do. Low turnouts might devalue a democracy but election results that could be dubious are much more corrosive. Nor is there any reason to conclude that asking electors to bring along photographic identification will dissuade a swath of citizens from participating. In Northern Ireland, where it was once said waspishly that being dead was no barrier to exercising the franchise, identification has been the norm for years without the slightest sign either that voters object to this burden or that they will not venture to polling stations because of it. By contrast, as a rule, turnout is higher in the Province than the rest of the United Kingdom. Most voters would consider it common sense that they be asked to provide some basic information as to who they are.