Northern Ireland

SDLP-backed challenge over voting identification fails

A legal challenge to the rules governing voter identification has failed at the High Court in Belfast.

Adriano Cardia from Portugal wanted to use his national identity card as proof of ID for Thursday's council and Assembly elections.

He was supported by two SDLP candidates, Michael McGoldrick and Daniel Gouveia.

However, Justice Treacy said on Wednesday that he did not believe there were grounds for a judicial review.

He said there had been "no contravention of EU Law" and this was not "a case of the right to vote". He added that Mr Cardia could have applied for an Electoral Identity card and chose not to.

The only cards allowed by the electoral office are British and Irish passports, driving licences, travel cards and electoral identity cards.

The electoral office also permits the use of EU passports and driving licences. Their use is governed by legislation.

Mr McGoldrick and Mr Gouveia said they believe EU nationals should be allowed to use their own national identity cards when they vote.

Outside the court Adriano Cardia's lawyer Abed Natur said he was '"disappointed" by the judgement and he hoped the Electoral Commission would take on board their argument.

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