The UK Government is expected to announce a new bill that will force voters to show photo ID before being allowed to vote in elections .
It is believed the bill is going to be revealed during Monday's Queen’s Speech, and government sources suggest the measures will prevent electoral fraud.
A Government source told the Telegraph : “A secure electoral system is vital. By changing the law to require voters to show some ID, as they do in many other daily activities, and taking steps to cut down proxy and postal voter fraud, we can ensure that everyone's vote counts and strengthen public trust in our democracy.”
Sources said voters without the required documentation would be able to apply for a free “electoral ID” from their local council.
However the plans have been criticised as an attempt to stop people voting.
The Mirror reports that Cat Smith MP, Labour ’s Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement, said: “Voter ID is a blatant attempt by the Tories to rig the result of the next general election .
"We will not allow the Tories to shut down our democracy by making it harder for people to vote."
Shadow Cabinet Secretary Jon Trickett described the move as a "disgrace".
While Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said it was a sign of "Tories introducing voter suppression measures to deal with a problem that does not exist".
The Lib Dem's Cabinet Office spokesman Tom Brake said: “The move by the Government to make voter ID compulsory is a thinly-veiled attempt to rig the results of future elections. We know from the pilot back in 2018 that voter fraud was inconsequential, whilst what the pilot did do was turn away a disproportionate number of vulnerable voters.
"Boris Johnson is clearly taking a leaf out of Trump's playbook by using false claims about voter fraud to suppress turnout.
“The trial was deemed a waste of time and the public’s money, and this roll-out will be no different. The Conservative Government have already showed disdain for our democracy and this move is simply further confirmation of that.
“Rather than electioneering by making it harder to vote, the Conservative Government should be focusing on ways to encourage democratic participation, such as through extending voting rights to 16 year olds.”
According to the Mirror , hundreds of people were denied their right to vote in last year’s local elections after ministers forced through a pilot scheme, despite warnings it could disenfranchise older voters and people from minority groups.
The trial, which was held in eight council areas, resulted in 819 people being turned away.
Ministers spent more than £1.7m on the scheme.
Figures show there were just eight allegations of people lying about who they are at a polling station - known as "personation" - in 2018.
That was down from 28 in 2017, 45 in 2016, 26 in 2015 and 21 in 2014, the Electoral Commission figures show.
In a paper when the trial was announced, the Electoral Commission warned certain groups of the population were less likely to have acceptable forms of ID.
They include young people, people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, women and the elderly.
Some 3.5m currently have no photo ID at all while 11m don't have a passport or driving licence.
But the government has suggested councils could provide a form of ID for those affected.