The Electoral Commission has recommended that voters should be required to show ID before receiving a ballot paper since 2014. In its view, the system used in Northern Ireland, where voters must already produce photo ID before casting a vote at a polling station, should be rolled out across Great Britain.

In August 2016 the then Government Anti-Corruption Champion, Sir Eric, now Lord Pickles, published a report on electoral fraud. He recommended that the Government should consider options for voter identification and suggested that the Government might wish to pilot various options before introducing a system nationwide.

The Government accepted the recommendation and at the May 2018 local elections there were five areas where voter ID pilot schemes were being conducted. In these areas people wishing to cast a ballot at a polling station were required to show some form of ID before being issued with their ballot paper(s). There five areas, Bromley, Gosport, Swindon, Watford and Woking each trialled different types of ID.

This briefing is no longer being updated.

More detail on the background to introducing ID for voters in polling stations is given in the Library briefing, Voter ID

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