Statistics detailing the number of people in Hertfordshire who were prevented from voting at this month's local elections - because they lacked the required photo ID - have been released.

New laws introduced by the government meant that photographic ID was required to vote for the first time in these elections.

Across elections in Stevenage, North Herts, Welwyn Hatfield, and St Albans, 184 people were denied a ballot paper because they lacked the required photo ID.

In total across those areas, 445 people were initially turned away from polling stations because they lacked the required ID. However, 261 of those people later returned with acceptable ID and were issued with ballot papers.

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The figures per local authority were as follows

St Albans City & District

Electors initially turned away for lacking acceptable ID - 196

Electors returning with acceptable ID - 109

Electors who did not return - 87 (0.3 per cent of total who turned up at polling stations)

North Herts

Electors initially turned away - 118

Electors returning - 64

Electors who did not return - 54 (0.3 per cent of total)

Welwyn Hatfield

Electors initially turned away - 104

Electors returning - 74

Electors who did not return - 30

Stevenage Borough Council

Electors initially turned away - 27

Electors returning - 14

Electors who did not return - 13

The introduction of stricter voter ID laws has proved controversial. While the government argued that it would cut down on voter fraud, opponents say that this was not a major issue.

According to the Electoral Commission, the police have received 1,386 reports of alleged electoral fraud since 2018. These have resulted in nine convictions and six police cautions.

On the day of the elections, a spokesperson for the Electoral Commission said: “We already know from our research that the ID requirement posed a greater challenge for some groups in society, and that some people were regrettably unable to vote today as a result.

“It will be essential to understand the extent of this impact, and the reasons behind it, before a final view can be taken on how the policy has worked in practice and what can be learned for future elections.”