50million Voter Id Cards?

Filed under: Electoral,Outcomes,Policy,Politics,Privacy — lenand @ 10:39 pm
Tags: ,

Changing the legislation around voting in Northern Ireland has one rather surprising unintended consequence.  Young people have to be registered when they are 16-17 years old, just as in the rest of the UK.  However, when they become 18, they then can then apply for an Electoral Identity Card.  Complete with photograph.   This is now highly valued, trusted, evidence of age allowing them to buy alcohol in public houses.

This is good news for the publicans and brewers who prefer to keep within the law.

Perhaps it is also good news for encouraging young people to vote in Northern Ireland.

Perhaps England, Wales and Scotland should consider the same route to meet the objectives of the Individual Voter Registration Act.  A photocard with other electronic credentials could be valued by more members of the population – and other suppliers of goods and services.  It may comeback to haunt me, but I shall quote Sir James Crosby , who said:

“In the absence of a universal ID assurance system, I believe consumers will have to grapple with an increasingly complex array of identity assurance processes of uncertain quality. As a result, the UK will fail to secure the economic and social advantage achievable at the forefront of ID assurance systems and processes. In a competitive world, any failure to secure advantage quickly becomes tantamount to locking in disadvantage. In other words, the opportunities inherent in ID assurance will not have been grasped but the challenges will remain.”

Bryan Glick blogged the unthinkable back in May, when the ID Card scheme was cancelled: “But even if Crosby himself was pilloried, his proposals for an alternative to ID cards merit serious consideration by our new coalition government.”  Odds on that it is too much of a political hot potato.


  1. […] The problem lies in the skills deficit, particularly for small districts in our feudal two tier system of local government.  How can hard-pressed ICT managers (CIOs may not exist there) be expected to implement TOGAF, OpenID and EAS in a structured approach to enterprise architecture?  How will they cope with Open Source procurements for eID and Individual Voter Registration? […]

    Pingback by ICT Skills Shortage. Mulligatawny Message. « Quarkside — 08/03/2011 @ 9:48 am | Reply

  2. […] the governance issue is: – citizens will need to have a trusted Identity,  without too many duplicates.  Perhaps this will be good enough to allow them to vote, too. […]

    Pingback by IDs for a UK Citizen Account « Quarkside — 08/12/2011 @ 10:29 am | Reply

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