I walked to my polling station this morning – past the blue rosettes (David Cameron lives two streets away) and placed my vote. I had no polling card so walked in, told them my name and address, and placed my vote (see the how to vote without a polling card news story).
Yet to get a resident’s parking permit in the same borough I had to fill in what I recall being a six page form, provide details of my address, council tax book, car registration and driving licence then queue for hours to get it.
The forums on this site are full of people complaining about their inability or the difficulties faced to open bank accounts due to lack of ID – a problem ever since the money laundering rules were introduced.
So there is an irony that in the most important consumer decision we make (see MSE voting guide), frankly anyone could’ve walked in, said they were me and placed my vote.
In this modern age it’s mind blowing that the system is so easily abusable. Of course the penalties are high and it’s to be hoped most engaged in the political process adhere to the democratic imperitive to such a degree they wouldn’t encourage fraud.
While the last thing we want to do is make it bureaucratically more difficult to vote, the entire system does seem a little bit imbalanced.