THE UK Government has been issued a legal challenge over the impact of new voter ID rules on marginalised groups.

A registered voter with disabilities who is blocked from voting due to the new rules has taken the first formal step in a legal challenge against ministers.

Backed by the legal watchdog Good Law Project, the voter is arguing that the UK Government should extend the forms of permissible ID before potentially millions are turned away at the General Election this year.

A report from the Electoral Commission following last May’s local elections found “people with lower incomes, with disabilities and from minority ethnic backgrounds “faced greater problems”' with the requirements. An estimated 14,000 people were also turned away.

READ MORE: What is voter ID and how will it affect Scotland?

The commission also stated this is an underestimate due to data quality issues and because some people will have been reminded of the ID requirement before they could be recorded.

A further 4% of non-voters said in a survey they didn't attempt to vote at all because of the voter ID requirement.

Jo Maugham, the Director of Good Law Project, said:“For no good reason and at enormous public expense, Ministers are depriving people of their democratic right to vote.

"Voter ID has been proven to be more likely to exclude the young, poor and ethnic minorities - it looks like a pretty blatant attempt at voter suppression by the Conservative Party.

"This challenge is not straightforward but the restriction on the right to vote is too important to ignore.”

The Head of the Electoral Commission said in January that Tory ministers had “opened themselves” up to the charge that voter ID is designed to benefit the Tory party. And he went on to warn that the “very, very tight” rules risked disenfranchising certain groups.

The new voter ID rules were rolled out with the stated rationale of tackling voter fraud, despite just one conviction of voter fraud in 2019. A cross-party group of MPs called the policy a “poisoned cure” that “disenfranchises more electors than it protects”.