01-23-2010, 08:29 PM
Direct Action Resistance Fighter
Joined: Aug 2006
Britons will be forced to hand over some information to get voting rights
Quote:Britons will have to hand over their National Insurance number, signature and date of birth in order to keep their right to vote, under new plans which critics are calling 'the perfect kit for identity fraud.'
Under the new Government scheme people will be asked to provide 'personal identifiers' when they register to vote, in order to prevent fraud at local and general elections.
The information will be added to electoral registers and held at town halls, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.
Voters are currently only required to provide an address when they go to vote. But after July electoral registration officers will have to hand over the three 'personal identifiers.
There are fears the scheme, which is expected to be compulsory within five years, could be expanded to include identity cards and even people’s finger-prints.
The plan was immediately criticised by the Association of Electoral Administrators, which claims it could open the door to identity fraud.
'People should have concerns if their personal data is made available for anyone with a big enough cheque. The more personal data on the register, the more sensitive they will become,' the association's chief executive John Turner said.
He said some of the extra information could be sold to anyone who buys copies of the electoral register.
Alex Deane, from civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, said the risk of storing the extra information was unlikely to be worth it, given the small problem of electoral fraud.
'We have managed to have elections in this country without surrendering this sort of information for hundreds of years,' he said.'
'Creating databases of our signatures, NI numbers and dates of birth has obvious risks for our privacy and identity security. The sole problem identified by the Government is election fraud.
'This is a very small issue in this country, and is driven mostly by postal voting. If you have to go on database to vote some people might say 'forget it then'.'
Liberal Democrat justice spokesman David Howarth said: 'This is yet more personal data being handed over to officials.
'Local authorities must remember the important data protection principle that information must never be used for another purpose, only to register to vote.
'Of most concern is the potential for the Government to move the goalposts and change the identifier required. National insurance numbers must not be allowed to become ID cards.'
The Government is planning a series of seminars over the next few months in the hope of heading off any controversy surrounding the plan.
The Ministry of Justice said it was aware there was a risk that fewer people might register to vote because of the onerous requirements to hand over more personal data.
A spokesman said: 'Individual Electoral Registration introduces significant changes to the current system of household registration and it can not be rushed because if we get it wrong then that could impact negatively on registration rates.
'We are not prepared to take such a risk with the bedrock of our democracy. We intend to hold an event in the near future to provide a forum for an open debate on issues surrounding databases and security.
'This event will take place before there is a move to collect the personal identifiers for IER and give us an opportunity for any relevant issues to be addressed.'
A spokesman for the Electoral Commision said: 'The right to register to vote is of fundamental importance in our democracy and is something for which individuals should take personal responsibility.
'A move towards individual voter registration will lead to a more accurate and secure electoral register. This is a major change, requiring detailed planning, and can't be done overnight.
The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall. - Che Guevara
Resistance Films Youtube Channel
User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)