New voter ID election rules saw 1,200 voters turned away from Walsall polls
More than 1,200 people in Walsall were turned away from polling stations in last week's local elections because of a failure to produce acceptable ID.
Walsall Council has released data which shows the impact the new law requiring voters to produce photographic ID to be able to vote had on residents in last Thursday’s ballot.
The statistics show the total number of people who applied for a ballot paper but were not issued with one at all is 767.
A further 473 were initially sent away from polling stations without being given a ballot paper but later returned with the necessary ID to enable them to put their crosses in the boxes.
The total number of votes cast in this year’s election was 48,713 – which represents a mere 24.54 per cent of the population eligible to take part.
Paddock recorded one of the highest turnouts in the country with an impressive 48.2 per cent of eligible voters casting votes.
This was in contrast to Darlaston South which only saw a 18.9 per cent turnout with many wards recording turnouts in the 20 and 30 per cent figures.
A Walsall Council spokesperson said the information has been sent to the Electoral Commission, as per the voter IDentification Regulations 2022.
But they added the rules state they can only give a breakdown on voter ID by ward or polling station to the Commission itself.
It is expected that the Electoral Commission will publish a report later this year on the impact of voter ID in the polling stations.
The election itself saw no change in Walsall with the Conservatives successfully defending 13 seats they held that were up for grabs.
Labour kept the six they held and had a technical gain in Darlaston South, reclaiming the seat which had been held by Independent and former party member Doug James who didn’t stand this year.
The overall make-up of the council now sees 38 Conservatives, 21 Labour and one independent.