None of the five English boroughs taking part in a controversial trial of compulsory voter ID in local elections on Thursday has experienced a single instance of polling station impersonation in the past decade.
Four boroughs told the Guardian they had no record of any offences, while one had a single allegation in 2006, which was dealt with by a police caution.
It emerged after the Electoral Reform Society said the plan was deeply flawed and appeared a “calculated effort by the government to make voting harder for some citizens”.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has written to the governmentabout the potential discriminatory impact of the trial, which charities have saidrisks disenfranchising more vulnerable people, such as older voters and the homeless.
On 3 May, voters in Bromley, Woking and Gosport will have to show photo ID, or two items showing their address from a list of approved documents. Those in Watford and Swindon must bring their polling cards, while there are separate tests connected to postal votes.
The trial, introduced by the Cabinet Office, could lead to voter ID being extended across the country for future elections.
Cat Smith, the shadow Cabinet Office minister, told MPs the government was implementing a similar “hostile environment” for minority groups as that experienced by Windrush-era migrants.