Key findings

There were no allegations of electoral fraud at polling stations in the pilot scheme at the May 2019 elections.

Each of the 2019 pilot models had security strengths and weaknesses, but the photo ID only model has the greatest security strengths compared with the other models.

The security of the mixed and poll card models could be further improved with some changes to the process and requirements.

Allegations of electoral fraud at polling stations

The local police forces covering the pilots informed us that there were no allegations of electoral fraud at polling stations for the May 2019 elections.

In other areas where local elections took place in May 2019, police forces have informed us that there were a total of nine allegations of electoral fraud at polling stations. Eight of these were still under investigation at the time we published this evaluation, and one needed no further action following police investigation as there was no evidence an offence had been committed.

It is not possible to assess whether the identification requirement prevented any actual attempts to commit impersonation fraud. There is no evidence to suggest that the absence of allegations in the pilots was because of the ID requirements.

Security assessment

We asked an experienced identity verification expert to review the three ID models that were piloted in 2019.

This review looked at the strengths and weaknesses of the security of each model, using well-established common standards and guidance for identity verification. It took into account the processes for issuing ID documents and how polling station staff could check the documents that voters showed.

Key findings from security evaluation of acceptable ID documents

Final bit

The review also indicated that the security of the mixed and poll card models could be further improved with some changes to the process and requirements.

This could include, for example:

  • requiring locally-issued ID or poll cards to include the holder’s photo;
  • requiring at least one officially-issued non-photo document to be presented in the mixed model;
  • adding printed security features to make it harder to forge poll cards; and
  • improving polling station processes to require all voters to state their full name and address without referring to their ID.
Last updated: 15 October 2019
Next review: 11 July 2020