Want to vote? Youll need your NI, adress, DoB & Signature.

#1
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/new...birth-and-signature-to-get-right-to-vote.html

The information will be added to local electoral registers and held at city halls across the country, raising concerns about the security of the data. The Government also admitted that the new plans could discourage people from voting.

Last night campaigners sounded the alarm about the plans, which are to be introduced after July, suggesting that the breadth of information which will be held by councils will present “the perfect kit for identity fraud”.

Electoral administrators said they were concerned that the extra information could be made available to people who purchase copies of the electoral register.

The new requirement for people to provide additional “personal identifiers” when they register to vote has been brought in by the Government to cut down on voter fraud at local and general elections.

Currently returning officers only require an adult at an address to certify that the people living in the household are over 18 and can vote.

However, after July electoral registration officers will be able to ask all householders to hand over three “personal identifiers “ - their signatures, dates of birth and NI numbers - as part of a new "individual elector registration" (IER) scheme, along with names and addresses.

There are fears that this could be expanded to include identity cards and even people’s finger-prints because of a special allowance in the legislation used to bring in the change.

The new way of registering to vote could be compulsory within five years. A briefing note from the Electoral Commission says: “IER is expected to replace the current practices of household and rolling registration by July 2015”.

There are already concerns about the plans. The Association of Electoral Administrators suggested that some of the extra information could be sold to anyone who buys copies of the electoral register.

John Turner, the association’s chief executive, said: “People should have concerns if their personal data is made available for anyone with a big enough cheque. The more personal data on the register, the more sensitive they will become.”

Campaigners questioned whether it was worth the risks of storing this extra personal information to deal with what they said was the relative small problem of electoral fraud.

Alex Deane, a spokesman from civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, said: “We have managed to have elections in this country without surrendering this sort of information for hundreds of years.

“Creating databases of our signatures, NI numbers and dates of birth has obvious risks for our privacy and identity security. The sole problem identified by the Government is election fraud.

"This is a very small issue in this country, and is driven mostly by postal voting. If you have to go on database to vote some people might say 'forget it then'.”

David Howarth MP, the Liberal Democrat’s justice spokesman, added: “This is yet more personal data being handed over to officials.

“Local authorities must remember the important data protection principle that information must never be used for another purpose, only to register to vote.

“Of most concern is the potential for the Government to move the goalposts and change the identifier required. National insurance numbers must not be allowed to become ID cards.”

The Government is already aware of potential controversy about the new plans and is planning a series of seminars to discuss any concerns in the next few months.

The Ministry of Justice said admitted that it was aware there was a risk that fewer people might register to vote because of the onerous requirements to hand over more personal data.

A spokesman said: "Individual Electoral Registration introduces significant changes to the current system of household registration and it can not be rushed because if we get it wrong then that could impact negatively on registration rates.

"We are not prepared to take such a risk with the bedrock of our democracy. We intend to hold an event in the near future to provide a forum for an open debate on issues surrounding databases and security.

“This event will take place before there is a move to collect the personal identifiers for IER and give us an opportunity for any relevant issues to be addressed.”

A spokesman for the Electoral Commision said: "The right to register to vote is of fundamental importance in our democracy and is something for which individuals should take personal responsibility.

"A move towards individual voter registration will lead to a more accurate and secure electoral register. This is a major change, requiring detailed planning, and can't be done overnight.

“We’ll be reporting annually to Parliament from 2011 on what progress is being made and whether it remains on course for delivery in 2015."
Some may have spotted this at the weekend. Personally, I'm not too impressed. Talk about an indentity thief's wet dream. If they press ahead with this, I'm certainly not registering, I like having my identity fairly secure thanks. :x
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
So it "could be compulsory within 5 years". I suspect that after May 2010, this will be kicked into the long grass until they can address the data security issues. The Information Commissioner will be none too pleased with this.
 
#4
Typical. They completely and utterly f**k up postal voting resulting in some wards having half the population of Islamabad living in a 2 up, 2 down house and end up offering a system that demands most of your standard proofs of ID struck on a spreadsheet looked after by the same underpaid staff who couldn't work out that a 2 bedroom house with 48 people living in may not be a totally truthfull reflection of fact...!
 
#5
Kitmarlowe said:
Typical. They completely and utterly f**k up postal voting resulting in some wards having half the population of Islamabad living in a 2 up, 2 down house and end up offering a system that demands most of your standard proofs of ID struck on a spreadsheet looked after by the same underpaid staff who couldn't work out that a 2 bedroom house with 48 people living in may not be a totally truthfull reflection of fact...!
I'd be more concerned about the NI number possibly turning up on a copy of the electoral roll if someone buys one - which you can legally.

Its dodgy as feck, to be quite honest. The sooner we're rid of these morons, the better.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
It's actually a rather good idea - this presentation of sufficient I.D. for voting rights thing. However, and it's a big however, having the scheme run by your local council of oiks, power-crazed nobody's, thickos, incompetents and corrupt tw@ts is NOT the way to go about it.

A national database based system, secured, or better still, biometric readers linked to a national database would be better, with access to that information kept about 100,000 light years from your local council window-lickers.

There's no point saying "aah, no way, linking my info to a national database for voting, 'cos it's ripe for fraud" - where do you think you NI number comes from, and the fact it's already linked to your address and DoB somewhere in the system.

Like I say - where it falls down is having no-mark clock-watching wasters in your local council employ with access to such sensitive data.
 
#7
The difference is that the Electoral Roll is publicly available. The edited version can be sold, and the full version can be inspected at Town Halls. Adding more identity details would be heaven for criminals; unless costly data sanitation was carried out. And it wouldn't solve electoral fraud unless system for postal voting is completely overhauled, and it can only make applying for a proxy vote harder.
 
#8
Biped said:
<snip>
A national database based system, secured, or better still, biometric readers linked to a national database would be better, with access to that information kept about 100,000 light years from your local council window-lickers.
Problem is, biometrics isn't nearly good enough for this purpose, it's scarcely good enough for meal entitlement in schools, extend it over a database of more than a thousand users and it breaks. Try and roll this out for millions of users and tens of thousands of readers all trying to interrogate the database simultaneously during an election and you'll never get to the end of the fraud allegations.
 
#9
A more rigorous system is well overdue to prevent further abuses of the electoral system by the Asians.

Not sure of the best way to do it, though...
 
#10
I have only read the thread title, and thus I say:


GOOD! ABOUT TIME!


Bit of a 'bummer' for the eighteen souls named 'Mohammed' applying for postal votes at an address with three bedrooms and three persons registered on the Electoral Roll.

Sadly, I gather this will not apply to the forthcoming General Election and therefore in certain parts of the country I expect an avalanche of votes in favour of Brown and his mis-fits!
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
Whilst agree it would be quite difficult to roll out, we DO have to find a better way. All Labour did when they allowed postal voting was facilitate massive voting fraud, sure in the knowledge that it would benefit them the most when it inevitably occured.

What is needed in this country is a 'one person, one vote' system, and one that ensures that nobody else can nick that vote. Surely, in the year 2010, with all the myriad technologies out there, our first-world nation could produce something.

Of course we could, and it's not anywhere near impossible. All that is lacking is the political will. That's only lacking because the political parties are corrupt, and the 'Mother of Parliaments', the so-called 'home of democracy' in the 'land of the free' is slowly falling to a level closer to Afghan politics than it is an exemplar to the rest of the world.
 
#12
Biped said:
Of course we could, and it's not anywhere near impossible. All that is lacking is the political will. That's only lacking because the political parties are corrupt, and the 'Mother of Parliaments', the so-called 'home of democracy' in the 'land of the free' is slowly falling to a level closer to Afghan politics than it is an exemplar to the rest of the world.
The quote above: sad - but even more sadly, very close to the truth.

The National Insurance is fine but a passport and other documents may also be deployed. This pathetic excuse for a government will not introduce any tightening of the rules as they would suffer.

PS: Postal Voting is an invitation to cheat and to commit a criminal offence.

Postal Voting MUST be discontinued in the best interests of democracy and honesty.
 
#13
No thanks. I won't bother voting then. Having been a victim of ID theft twice in the last 3 years, I also can't but help noticing that my local council employs lots of West African immigrants too. All politicians are thieving cnuts anyway and all of the parties policies are bollocks.

I'll just wait for the revolution. Should be one along soon...
 
#14
A solution may be to roll out biometric registration for postal/proxy voting for those without any obvious reason to not turn up in person. People should be encouraged to turn out in an election.
 
#15
If anybody has recently visited a construction site, he'll be aware that all these details (NI No., DoB, signature, etc) and more (health details, NoK, phone numbers, etc) are routinely demanded as part of the induction process. In the chain of people who have access to these details are the security staff who produce the site access card, generally people who do not have English as their first language, rarely stay in the same job for more than 12 months, change address rather more frequently and are lowly paid, thus open to financial incentives.

So why the worry about such details being passed to a different branch of the same firm that issues most of them (i.e. HMG & Sons)?

I don't understand why a much simpler method of identification isn't used - one that is used fairly effectively and cheaply in underdeveloped countries - fingerprinting. Official checks voter's fingers to confirm that he hasn't voted already, voter dips fingers in indelible ink and presses on blank ballot paper, official scans prints and checks against database (database required), voter tears off fingerprinted section of ballot paper and disposes of as he sees fit, votes and wobbles off back home for a cup of tea.

It has the added advantage that if some loony party is elected, a vigilante group can round up everyone who has dyed fingers and lop them off so that they don't make the same mistake again. OK, there'll be a lot of people digitally challenged who weren't responsible for the loony party getting in, but the democratic process ensures that they'll be in the minority.
 
#16
putteesinmyhands said:
I don't understand why a much simpler method of identification isn't used - one that is used fairly effectively and cheaply in underdeveloped countries - fingerprinting. Official checks voter's fingers to confirm that he hasn't voted already, voter dips fingers in indelible ink and presses on blank ballot paper, official scans prints and checks against database (database required), voter tears off fingerprinted section of ballot paper and disposes of as he sees fit, votes and wobbles off back home for a cup of tea.
This is the problem, on a construction site the database isn't that big and the number of simultaneous reads is small. Make it larger and it'll slow down, make it really large and it's unusable and we're still only talking about a few thousand users. We would need a massive database with tens of thousands of readers capable of thousands of simultaneous (and faultless) transactions for which there is no commercial application. It would have to be designed specifically for the purpose, I'm sure I don't need to point out the likelihood of it ever working as designed.

Then just to make it even harder it has to work flawlessly once or twice every five years installed into classrooms and village halls from remote areas to city centres and it absolutely cannot fail.
 
#17
CQMS said:
putteesinmyhands said:
I don't understand why a much simpler method of identification isn't used - one that is used fairly effectively and cheaply in underdeveloped countries - fingerprinting. Official checks voter's fingers to confirm that he hasn't voted already, voter dips fingers in indelible ink and presses on blank ballot paper, official scans prints and checks against database (database required), voter tears off fingerprinted section of ballot paper and disposes of as he sees fit, votes and wobbles off back home for a cup of tea.
This is the problem, on a construction site the database isn't that big and the number of simultaneous reads is small. Make it larger and it'll slow down, make it really large and it's unusable and we're still only talking about a few thousand users. We would need a massive database with tens of thousands of readers capable of thousands of simultaneous (and faultless) transactions for which there is no commercial application. It would have to be designed specifically for the purpose, I'm sure I don't need to point out the likelihood of it ever working as designed.
Why? How big is your constituency? If we continue along the lines of voting in your usual polling station, the database doesn't need to be particularly massive. The only advantage of having a national database would be that there'd be less need for postal/proxy voting.
 
#18
49,000 votes cast in 2005 60% turnout. Very rural with only 3 large towns, polling stations in schools and church halls predominate. This hypothetical system must be capable of being put in place quickly, by people who only operate it once a year and be 100% reliable while using a non existant data link.
 
#19
It reminds me of the company who put in place an electronic fire register, every fire drill was perfect and 100% accurate. There was a real activation, an overheating machine caused a small fire in the print room which set off the fire supression system, there was no access to the register. Cue huge bollocking from the Fire Brigade.
 
#20
So, in each polling station, a laptop with fingerprint recognition software, a memory stick containing the fingerprint details of that station's electorate and a scanner.

And something similar used by a "Visiting Official" for the housebound and those in hospital etc. (Can somebody loan me a tree to hug, please).
 

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