My 32nd Letter to James Sunderland MP for Bracknell

13th December 2022

https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9187/

Dear James Sunderland,

I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and hope you manage to get some time to relax with family and friends over the holidays.

I noticed that last night you voted for the Elections Act 2022 which most people are calling the Voter ID Bill. This will introduce the requirement to show photo ID at UK Parliamentary elections. I am not aware of any significant voter identity fraud at previous UK elections and with a Government scrambling to make savings in public expenditure, this Act seems expensive and unnecessary.

However, I am mainly concerned that the Act’s real purpose is to weight future elections, by discouraging voters the Government think will not vote for them. To me they do this by allowing more ID options for the elderly than the young. The young are already familiar with ID for their purchases or venue entry. The Act permits “An Older Person’s Bus Pass”, “An Oyster 60+ Card” and “A Freedom Pass”, while not allowing “18+ Student Oyster Cards”, “National Railcards”, or “Student ID Cards”.

You voted down The House of Lords Amendment allowing these additional ID cards. This looks so much like a blatant attempt at Voter Suppression with the Young Voter in particular being handicapped. I’m puzzled though, about your vote for this Act. You represent a town with one of the largest population growth rates in England. Many of these newcomers will be just the young, that this Act will harm most. Our Town is not an Old Population Town. In fact your vote harms your own voters. Did you think this through?

Bad legislation tends to get replaced or removed and you must know, this Act almost certainly won’t survive the next Government. Will it do enough to change the next election outcome? I doubt it. What it will do is make things harder for many legitimate voters and cost a lot of money that could be used better elsewhere.

You might think your voting record isn’t noticed. Please don’t. I know.

Yours sincerely,

Terry Enga

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