Photo: Public domain
Photo: Public domain

I had the most unnecessarily strenuous and exasperating experience voting in the May local elections. It took far longer than any other time I’ve voted, probably longer than every time I’ve voted put together!

I walked into my polling station, met by four volunteers. One took my license and stared at it in silence for maybe 15 seconds – longer than any bar staff ever have! After another volunteer prompted her, she finally concluded: “Yeah that’s Adam. Let me find your address”. She looked at the address on my twelve-year-old license! I didn’t live in Coventry 12 years ago, and eventually she realised this. She informed me my address isn’t in Coventry.

She looked at her colleagues with a worried face then, as she was about to speak to me again, her colleague standing next to me asked for my current address then I finally gave my address, twice!

After another long pause to find my name and address, the woman opposite asked me to confirm my name! I stared, confused, wondering how to confirm it and why I need to when it’s on the license in front of her. After another five seconds, the woman on my right, satisfied with the right address, then read my full name and address out loud.

Finally, she crossed off my name, double checked the number next to my name, and gave me my ballot. Is the right to vote meant to be this much of a bloody pain? Some wards in Coventry had turnout of just 21%. The experience I had would be well enough to drive more voters away, alongside the two million who don’t have a valid ID.

Adam Harmsworth, Coventry Socialist Party

I was somewhat surprised to discover that I do not need to present photographic ID to attend an election count as a TUSC counting agent. Apparently the count is far less sensitive than voting itself!

Do we need any clearer evidence that photo ID is designed to prevent those least likely to vote Tory from voting at all?

Clive Walder, Birmingham South Socialist Party