During the final sitting week of the NSW Parliament for the year, dominated by furious debate over legislation removing Independent Commission Against Corruption chief Megan Latham from her job, a parliamentary committee tabled a report containing an equally contentious measure. The report on the 2015 state election from the joint standing committee on electoral matters suggested a range of improvements to NSW voting rules based on the most recent poll. It contains a bombshell recommendation: that NSW voters be forced to produce photo identification before they are able to cast a ballot.
The requirement to produce photo ID to vote may sound fairly innocuous; most of us have a driver’s licence or some other form of identification.
Yet similar laws in the United States have prompted a huge outcry amid accusations they are driven by racism and a desire by the Republican party to disenfranchise African American, Latino, poor and young voters.
The introduction of voter ID in Pennsylvania has been credited with reducing the margin of US President Barack Obama’s victory over Republican candidate Mitt Romney in 2012.