Boris Johnson has paid homage to the villagers following the revelation that he was turned away from a polling station when he attempted to vote without a valid photo ID – under regulations he introduced.

The erstwhile prime minister stated he endeavored to cast his ballot, employing a magazine sleeve bearing his name and address as evidence but was hindered from doing so. The stipulation to furnish photo ID was implemented by Mr Johnson during his tenure in Downing Street as part of the Elections Act 2022. The decision provoked controversy due to concerns it might disenfranchise individuals, particularly among marginalized groups.

Mr Johnson had endeavoured to vote in South Oxfordshire, where a police and crime commissioner for Thames Valley was being elected. Penning his thoughts in his Daily Mail column, he remarked, “I wish to extend a particular tribute to the three villagers who rightly turned me away when I arrived at the polling station on Thursday with nothing to authenticate my identity except the sleeve of my copy of Prospect magazine, upon which my name and address had been imprinted. I presented it to them, and they appeared very sceptical… within moments, I returned with my driving licence and voted Tory.”

Thursday’s election marked the inaugural instance where many voters in England and Wales were required to furnish ID to vote under provisions initially introduced at last year’s local elections. Apart from driving licences, other acceptable forms of ID encompass passports, proof of age cards, blue badges, and certain concessionary travel cards.

The government has also signalled its intention to validate veterans’ ID cards as a permissible form of voter identification subsequent to former service personnel being turned away. Veterans’ minister Johnny Mercer tendered an apology to those who had been unable to utilise the document to vote, pledging to “do all I can” to have it included in the roster of acceptable identification.

Labour contended that the government had ample time to ensure the card’s inclusion, having initiated the scheme’s rollout in 2019.

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