Re: National Identity Card
That still leaves 15% without.
One of my friends, for instance, a working class lad from Hackney, couldn't drive, nor had he ever been abroad. Consequently, he had no passport, nor need for one, and no need for a driving licence.
A passport now is £72.50 for your first one. A provisional driving licence is £34, assuming you can apply online. You'll need a passport or a birth certificate. If you don't have one of the latter, then that's an additional £9.25. And it's £43 to get a driving licence by post.
You'll also need the photos, of course, which is likely to set you back another fiver from a photo booth machine.
Even assuming someone does have a birth certificate they can find, you're looking at almost £40 to get the ID that they'll only need to vote. In the worst case, if they don't have a computer to use, and need to get a copy certificate you're looking at a little under £57.
It's easy to look at things like this and think "well, that's not so much," or "I'd spend more than that on a decent dinner" but there really are people who don't drive, and don't have passports and - above all - don't have £40 to spare. But they're still entitled to vote, because we have a universal franchise.
If you're going to require ID to take part in that, it absolutely must be provided free of charge, in my view.
You could do that - as I believe some US states do - by having a specific ID document for people who fall into that 15% who have neither driving licence nor passport. However, while that may be acceptable for voting, there are issues around the more general use of such documents. Essentially, if there's a "poor person's" ID, and other sorts of ID, and you start to allow them to be used in other situations (eg bars checking credentials, say) then you potentially open the way to discrimination.