Councils could have to issue up to 3.5m ID cards for voters under new bill

Plan has prompted warnings over the potential ‘huge challenge’ for already struggling local authorities

Local authorities could have to issue up to 3.5m identity cards as part of the government’s plan for mandatory voter ID, it has emerged, prompting warnings over potential high costs and disruption for councils.

Ministers have yet to set out how the scheme, announced in the Queen’s speech, will work in practice, or when it will begin. But it has pledged that would-be voters who do not possess the necessary photo ID can apply to their council for a free “voter card”.

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