VOTERS will soon be turned away from polling stations for certain UK elections if they do not produce appropriate ID under new rules.

It is thought the change could have a major impact on turnouts and there are concerns the move is unnecessary when electoral fraud is a minor concern at best in the UK.

Here’s a rundown of how the rules will affect Scots and why there is so much uproar over their introduction.

What is voter ID?

It has never been a requirement to produce ID when you go to cast your ballot in the UK, but starting with council elections south of the Border in May, people will need to produce documentation before being allowed to vote as a result of the Elections Act 2022.

The change brings the UK into line with Northern Ireland which has required voter ID since 1985.

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The types of ID voters can show include a driving licence or a provisional driving licence, a blue badge, or a passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or Commonwealth country.

There are several other acceptable forms of ID including an older or disabled person’s bus pass, an Oyster 60+ card, a Scottish National Entitlement Card, or a Ministry of Defence Identity card.

A full list can be found here. You are still able to use your ID even if it has expired, but you must ensure your name on the ID matches your name on the electoral register. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to register to vote again or take along documentation which proves you have changed your name, such as a marriage certificate.

Is it in place for all elections?

No. Scots will not need to produce ID when they go to vote in Scottish Parliament or council elections in Scotland.

Voter ID will be required to cast a ballot in a UK General Election or any local government election in England.

Why is it so controversial?

There are fears the change in rules could disenfranchise millions of people. Labour and the SNP have described it as “rushed” and “shambolic”.

Government research has found that up to two million people currently lack photo ID that has a recognisable picture of them.

Of these, only a tiny proportion had applied for free ID documentation – known as a Voter Authority Certificate - through a government scheme in its first two weeks, according to The Guardian.

It’s also seen to be a disproportionate move given voter fraud in the UK is not a major problem.

At the last General Election in 2019, 595 cases of alleged electoral fraud were investigated by police, according to the Electoral Commission, but only four led to a conviction while two people were given a police caution.

There are also some people fearing it could cause confusion for voters in Scotland who may end up mistakenly thinking they need ID to vote in Holyrood elections and subsequently don’t cast one.

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The UK Government say the law will protect voters from personation – someone impersonating you and stealing your vote. It has been argued ID requirements already exist for many everyday activities such as picking up a parcel.

What happens if you’re someone’s proxy?

If you’re voting on someone else’s behalf in a General Election, you’ll only need to produce ID for yourself and not the person you’re voting for.