Submission Documents: Motion by Councillor Alex Kerr:- "Council firmly believes that a strong democracy is the foundation stone on which the most prosperous and free societies that have existed throughout history have been built. Council further believes that ensuring the largest proportion of citizens possible are able to take part in the democratic process, known as "democratic well-being" is crucial to ensuring the long-term strength of any democratic system. Council understands the additional barriers that those from more deprived backgrounds face in engaging with the democratic process with the Fraser of Allander institute finding a significant gap in participation between individuals that considered themselves in good health and those that considered themselves in bad health. Council deplores the introduction of voter ID legislation by the UK Government which requires those taking part in Westminster elections to show photographic identification to vote in a polling station. Council notes the Electoral Commissions report into the May 2023 Local Elections in England which took place under the voter ID rules which found hundreds of thousands of people could be excluded from voting in a UK general election because of new rules. Council further notes the reports finding that this would have a disproportionate impact on poorer people, those with disabilities and from minority ethnic backgrounds. Council understands that legislation is being consulted on by the Welsh Government which would allow Local Authorities to pilot automatic enrolment of voters to the electoral register. Council considers this would meet the aims of increasing democratic well-being by widening the pool of those eligible to vote and removing unnecessary barriers from participation in the democratic process to some of the most deprived communities. Council further believes the success of such pilots would highlight the benefits of taking an approach which opens up democracy, as opposed to inadvertently closing routes into participation through implementation of unnecessary voter ID legislation which creates barriers to participation. Council will write to the Scottish Government to call for work to be undertaken to establish the possibility of similar policies being pursued at a Scottish level with a view to widening participation at Scottish and Local levels. Council also proposes that these discussions also involve consideration of i-voting (internet) known as electronic voting. Council recognises that the learning available from Estonia, a pioneer in electronic voting, one of several channels offered to Estonian voters, with voters able to vote over the internet since the 2005 municipal elections. Council notes that although only 3% of voters voted online in 2007 (the first national e-elections anywhere in the world), that number had reached 44% by the last election in 2019. Such voting is made possible by Estonia's smart ID cards. Council notes Glasgow City Council's success in the area of using data to increase participation - particularly with Glasgow's pilot canvass which was cited by the Electoral Commission as best practice with findings being used to inform UK wide changes to the canvass. Council believes that given this track-record of success that Glasgow City Council should volunteer as the lead pilot location in the aforementioned letter for any proposals that come forward from the Scottish Government." Help Icon

This is the list of documents available for the submission Motion by Councillor Alex Kerr:- "Council firmly believes that a strong democracy is the foundation stone on which the most prosperous and free societies that have existed throughout history have been built. Council further believes that ensuring the largest proportion of citizens possible are able to take part in the democratic process, known as "democratic well-being" is crucial to ensuring the long-term strength of any democratic system. Council understands the additional barriers that those from more deprived backgrounds face in engaging with the democratic process with the Fraser of Allander institute finding a significant gap in participation between individuals that considered themselves in good health and those that considered themselves in bad health. Council deplores the introduction of voter ID legislation by the UK Government which requires those taking part in Westminster elections to show photographic identification to vote in a polling station. Council notes the Electoral Commissions report into the May 2023 Local Elections in England which took place under the voter ID rules which found hundreds of thousands of people could be excluded from voting in a UK general election because of new rules. Council further notes the reports finding that this would have a disproportionate impact on poorer people, those with disabilities and from minority ethnic backgrounds. Council understands that legislation is being consulted on by the Welsh Government which would allow Local Authorities to pilot automatic enrolment of voters to the electoral register. Council considers this would meet the aims of increasing democratic well-being by widening the pool of those eligible to vote and removing unnecessary barriers from participation in the democratic process to some of the most deprived communities. Council further believes the success of such pilots would highlight the benefits of taking an approach which opens up democracy, as opposed to inadvertently closing routes into participation through implementation of unnecessary voter ID legislation which creates barriers to participation. Council will write to the Scottish Government to call for work to be undertaken to establish the possibility of similar policies being pursued at a Scottish level with a view to widening participation at Scottish and Local levels. Council also proposes that these discussions also involve consideration of i-voting (internet) known as electronic voting. Council recognises that the learning available from Estonia, a pioneer in electronic voting, one of several channels offered to Estonian voters, with voters able to vote over the internet since the 2005 municipal elections. Council notes that although only 3% of voters voted online in 2007 (the first national e-elections anywhere in the world), that number had reached 44% by the last election in 2019. Such voting is made possible by Estonia's smart ID cards. Council notes Glasgow City Council's success in the area of using data to increase participation - particularly with Glasgow's pilot canvass which was cited by the Electoral Commission as best practice with findings being used to inform UK wide changes to the canvass. Council believes that given this track-record of success that Glasgow City Council should volunteer as the lead pilot location in the aforementioned letter for any proposals that come forward from the Scottish Government.".

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Name Type of Document Access View Document
Item Minute - 07 December 2023 Minute Public Open Document in PDF Format
(8 KB)

 

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