Express & Star

Over 2,000 people turned away from Black Country polling stations over voter ID issues

More than 2,000 people were turned away from polling stations at local elections in the Black Country because they didn't produce acceptable ID.

Photo ID was required for the first time at English polling stations at this year's local elections

But the majority of them later returned to cast a vote, meaning just 884 were unable to vote under the new rules. The figure represents around 0.6 per cent of the total number of votes cast at ballot boxes across the four boroughs.

This month's local elections were the first in England where voters were required to produce photo ID in a bid to clamp down on electoral fraud.

Critics, including a number of Labour politicians in the Black Country, said the move had contributed to lower than usual turnouts.

Across the four boroughs, 2,302 people were initially sent away from polling stations for failing to produce ID.

In Sandwell 1,135 people were turned away from polling stations after they did not produce acceptable ID – one of the highest figures in the country.

However, 795 returned with acceptable ID and were able to cast a vote, leaving 340 unable to vote. The figure equates to 0.92 per cent of the 36,889 who were issued with ballot papers.