A trial of voter ID has seen people in England turned away from polling booths for the first time for not carrying the necessary documents, with other issues reported including abuse of voting staff and some confusion over what evidence needed to be shown. The local elections saw the scheme tested out in five boroughs in an attempt to crack down on voter impersonation, with the possibility it could be extended nationwide in future elections. The main issues appeared to be in Bromley and Woking where, along with Gosport, people had to show one piece of photo ID or two from a list of other documents. In the other two test areas, Swindon and Watford, only a polling card was required. In Bromley, south-east London, tallies by the opposition Labour group found at least 13 people turned away from just one ward, Crystal Palace. There were also reports of some voters being angry and abusive to polling station workers when asked to show ID.
One reported instance involved a long-time voting clerk having to turn away a man he knows personally as the would-be voter did not have the necessary documents.
In Woking there was some confusion reported as to what ID could be shown, with one man saying he was initially told a photo rail pass was not allowed, even though it was listed among the accepted documents.
The scheme has prompted concerns from charities and others that it could disenfranchise more vulnerable voters who are less likely to have access to the necessary ID, for example, older people and those who are homeless.