The Electoral Commission

The independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK

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1 in 4 black voters aren’t registered to vote

Published: 12 Mar 2018

The Electoral Commission estimates that 24% of black voters in the UK are not registered, as nearly half of England gets set to go to the polls for local elections on 3May 2018.

The Commission’s brand new campaign “Got 5?” is encouraging people to register online at gov.uk/register-to-vote before the 17 April deadline if they have local elections in their area.

It’s also estimates that 20% of Asian voters aren’t registered to vote, whilst nearly a quarter (23%) of electors with mixed ethnicity are not yet registered.

The campaign has teamed up with organisations that support black and ethnic minority communities to encourage registration and highlight that you can quickly register in five minutes while waiting for the kettle to boil or running a bath.

Emma Hartley, Head of Campaigns at the Electoral Commission, said: “With many local authorities across England and London holding local elections in May it’s vital that people register to vote before the 17 April deadline.

“We’re keen to see people using the time that may otherwise be wasted, like waiting for a bus, to go online and complete a form in five minutes. It’s quick, simple and really important.”

People can find out if they have elections in their area on the Commission’s Your Vote Matters website. Local government elections select councillors, who are responsible for making decisions on running services in your local area.

To vote in local council elections a person must be registered to vote, 18 years or over on polling day and also be one of the following:

  • a British citizen, a qualifying Commonwealth citizen, or a citizen of the European Union
  • resident in the UK
  • not be subject to any legal incapacity to vote

If you were eligible to vote in last year’s general election and your details have not changed, you will still be registered to vote.

More information on voting in the local elections can be found on the Commission’s Your Vote Matters website.

Ends

For more information, contact the Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0704 or press@electoralcommission.org.uk

Out of office hours 07789 920414

A selection of images for you to download and use can be found here.

A 30 second YouTube video can be found here.

Notes to editors

  1. The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK. It works to promote public confidence in the democratic process and ensure its integrity by:
    • enabling the delivery of free and fair elections and referendums, focusing on the needs of electors and addressing the changing environment to ensure every vote remains secure and accessible
    • regulating political finance – taking proactive steps to increase transparency, ensure compliance and pursue breaches
    • using our expertise to make and advocate for changes to our democracy, aiming to improve fairness, transparency and efficiency

    The Commission was set up in 2000 and reports to the UK and Scottish Parliaments.

  2. These estimates of people not registered to vote are based on the December 2015 electoral registers in Great Britain. More information is in the Commission’s report: “Accuracy and completeness of the registers in Great Britain and the transition to Individual Electoral Registration”.

Journalist