Don’t let Westminster block your vote with its draconian voter ID laws

The Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election is approaching fast – and it’s never been more important to make sure Scotland’s voice is heard.

That’s why I’ve called for people across the constituency to register for a postal vote by Wednesday 20th September if they don’t have voter ID – to ensure democracy is upheld.

The by-election in Rutherglen and Hamilton West will be the first time in Scotland to which Westminster’s new voter ID laws apply.

The draconian legislation – which Labour has refused to commit to repeal  – has been widely criticised as targeting those on low incomes, those with disabilities and people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

It’s essential people in Rutherglen and Hamilton West act to ensure Westminster doesn’t get its way and undermine Scottish democracy.

An Electoral Commission report, published in June, found that at least 14,000 people who tried to vote in the local elections in England were denied a ballot paper because of the ID requirement.

It also found a further 4% of non-voters said they didn’t attempt to vote at all because of the voter ID requirement.

I am urging every single voter in Rutherglen and Hamilton West to check if they hold an accepted form of voter ID today, and if they do not, register for a postal vote by Wednesday 20th September or a Voter Authority Certificate by the 27th September.

You can check what forms of ID are accepted on South Lanarkshire’s Council website or by phoning them on 0303 123 1015.

Let’s come together to ensure the Westminster government doesn’t achieve its goal of blocking Scottish votes and undermining our democracy. Even Jacob-Rees Mogg has acknowledged that the new voter ID laws are an attempt at gerrymandering.

If you register for a postal vote, you don’t need to worry about having voter ID as it is not required to vote by post. With a postal vote, you can either send it away as soon as possible or hand it in to your local polling station on the day of the election.

The SNP opposes the Trumpian Voter ID policy and the Scottish Government has confirmed it will not apply to Holyrood and local council elections.

The shameful reasoning behind this legislation is to help the Labour and the Tories preserve their slippery grip on power, at the expense of the people’s democratic will.

The voter ID laws are just the latest in a long line of anti-democratic measures from Westminster, including the recent Public Order Act which restricts the right to protest.

But this is another example of why Scotland needs independence. A vote for the SNP on 5th October in Rutherglen and Hamilton West is a vote for a fairer, more equal Scotland – where you can vote from the age of 16 and where no-one is cruelly excluded from the democratic process.