Sefton Council Leader Ian Maher has thanked the hundreds of staff who have worked on yesterday’s local elections.
However, he said he was ‘appalled’ to hear that some of the 850 people who had staffed polling stations had received abuse from the public, especially as a result of the new, national voter ID requirements that were in effect for the first time.
Cllr Maher said: “I want to say a huge thanks to everyone who was involved in the mammoth task of organising and managing the local elections, particularly with the Government’s introduction of the new and in my mind needless ID requirements.
“But I also want to say how sorry I am that staff have been put in the position where they have had to endure abuse from the public, in no small part because of the new rules.
“We knew from the introduction of Photo ID requirements that this change would not be well received by some of our communities but to hear that our hard working staff, who are simply helping people have their democratic say, have been subjected to horrid abuse is frankly shocking.
“And sadly this is likely to have been repeated at polling stations across the country, which can only damage the democratic process and discourage some people from exercising their right to vote.”
Sefton Council has been publicising the requirements for voter ID and alternative ways of voting since March. It has also been encouraging those without the required photo ID to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate before the April deadline.
A full list of results from the 2023 local elections in Sefton is available via www.sefton.gov.uk/elections.
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The voting certificate may be free but there is the cost of a passport size photo. Apply for a postal vote as you do not need a photo.
We’ve all had plenty of warning about the photographic I.D., and it was easy enough to obtain it, if you didn’t already have it. That’s disgraceful behaviour, attacking the staff.