New voter registration campaign celebrates feel-good factor of participating in democracy

New voter registration campaign celebrates feel-good factor of participating in democracy

A new campaign by the Electoral Commission launches today, calling on all voters to register to vote if they want to have their say at elections on Thursday 2 May. 

The campaign is designed to encourage people to celebrate and take pride in being on the electoral register. It calls on people to register ahead of the elections in England and Wales on Thursday 2 May, before the registration deadline passes on the 16 April. It marks a shift from previous campaigns which have emphasised how quick and easy registration is, to instead focus on the feel-good factor of participating in democracy. 

Watch the new campaign advert here. 

The advert aims to appeal to many of the groups less likely to be registered, including young people, ethnic minorities, and disabled voters. 

Craig Westwood, Director of Communications said: 

“Elections are an important opportunity for people to have a say on the issues that matter to them. Yet as many as 7 million people are missing out on this opportunity because they aren’t on the electoral register, that represents millions of missing voices. 

“Ahead of the May elections, and with a general election on the horizon, it is important that people are registered so their voice is heard at the ballot box. Anyone who wants to cast a ballot in the May elections has until the deadline on 16 April to register.”

Voter registration is open to all British and Irish citizens and qualifying Commonwealth citizens living in the UK, who are aged 18 or over. Anyone previously on the register who has recently moved home or whose details have changed will need to register again.

The Commission’s public awareness campaign will run across mass media and targeted digital channels, including TV, video on demand, out of home and digital displays. The campaign runs from today until the registration deadline.  

Ends

For more information contact the Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0704, out of office hours 07789 920 414 or press@electoralcommission.org.uk 

Notes to editors

  1. Local elections are taking place in 107 local authorities across England. Police and Crime Commissioner elections are happening in 38 police force areas in England and Wales. In London, there are elections for the Mayor of London and for 25 London Assembly Members. There are also nine combined authority mayoral elections, and one local authority mayoral election.
  2. Around 44 million people are estimated to be eligible to vote at this year’s May elections in England and Wales. Yet as many as 7 million people are either incorrectly registered or missing from the register entirely. 
  3. Research shows  that young people, students and those who have recently moved are least likely groups to be registered
  4. The Commission is also working to raise awareness of the voter ID requirement. Voters will need to show photographic ID at polling stations. A list of accepted forms of ID is available on the Electoral Commission’s website. Free voter ID is available to those that do not have an accepted form of photo ID. 
  5. The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK. We work to promote public confidence in the democratic process and ensure its integrity by:
        o    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
        o    regulating political finance – taking proactive steps to increase transparency, ensure compliance and pursue breaches
        o    using our expertise to make and advocate for changes to our democracy, 
        o    aiming to improve fairness, transparency and efficiency
    The Commission was set up in 2000 and reports to the UK, Welsh and Scottish parliaments.