Protecting the polls – Government proposals to secure the UK vote

Recent media reports have indicated that the Government is preparing new proposals to prevent electoral fraud, including the introduction of ID checks at polling stations.

Pilot schemes are expected to be announced early this year, in response to the 2016 report by the Government’s anti-corruption tsar, Sir Eric Pickles. Securing the ballot: review into electoral fraud recommended changes to the rules on electoral administration which included: requiring voters to produce a passport, driving licence or utility bill as evidence of their identity; nationality checks; and a requirement to use only English or Welsh in polling stations. The full recommendations were covered in Idox’s previous short paper on trust and security in electoral management.

The new rules are also expected to ban political campaigners from handing in ballot papers on behalf of postal voters who have missed the deadline.

Securing the ballot

The proposals have been welcomed by Idox Elections who, for more than two decades, has provided systems to deliver modern democracy in a flexible and trusted manner.

Meeting the demands of election officials, candidates and the electorate, Idox Elections provides administrative services to respond to the changing needs of the UK and international electoral services market.

The proposed changes will reinforce the systems which Idox has put in place to guard against electoral fraud:

  • Idox Individual Electoral Registration provides the tools to manage the process of application verification required to add voters to the electoral register.
  • Idox Selcheck enables Returning Officers to compare 100% of signatures and dates of birth on returned Postal Vote Statements with stored masters. In addition, Idox Selcheck allows Returning Officers to conduct full checks on failed signatures against other postal voters for electors, property, postcode and district.
  • The Idox Postal Vote Management Solution (PVMS) allows for the scanning and verification of all postal ballot papers and accompanying Postal Vote Statements, to ensure that only authentic votes are put forward for the count. PVMS enables accurate processing of 100% of postal packs issued and detailed reporting to allow councils to submit required returns to the Electoral Commission

Delivering democracy with accuracy and security

Voting is one of the most important rights a citizen can hold. As we saw in 2016, choosing where to put an X on a ballot paper – or choosing not to participate – can result in seismic changes that will influence the course of a country for decades to come. It’s important, therefore, that the electorate can put its trust in the way that democratic polls are delivered.  

As further challenges emerge, the experienced team at Idox Elections will continue to ensure that democracy is well served with accuracy and security.

Want to find out more? Visit our dedicated Elections pages today or meet the team at the 2017 AEA Annual Conference, (5-7 February, Brighton).