Thousands of missing voters encouraged to register ahead of May PCC elections in Wales

Thousands of missing voters encouraged to register ahead of May PCC elections in Wales

A new campaign is launching today, aimed at encouraging the thousands of people in Wales missing from the electoral registers to sign up to have their say at upcoming elections. 

The campaign is designed to encourage people to celebrate and take pride in being on the electoral register. The new TV advert features a diverse group of people who have registered to vote showing it off to friends, neighbours and colleagues. It calls on people to register ahead of the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in 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.

Around 2.5 million people are estimated to be eligible to vote at the upcoming Police and Crime Commissioner elections in Wales. Yet, as many as 400,000 people are either incorrectly registered or missing from the register entirely.

Rhydian Thomas, Head of the Electoral Commission, Wales said: 

“Elections are an important opportunity for people to have a say on the issues that matter to them. We know every year that people lose the opportunity because they aren’t on the electoral register, that represents millions of missing voices. 

“Ahead of the May elections, and with a UK Parliamentary 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.”

To be eligible to vote at the PCC elections you must be a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen living in Wales, 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 Police and Crime Commissioner elections will also mark the first time voters in Wales will need to show photographic ID to vote at the polling station. The Commission is working to raise awareness of the voter ID requirement. A list of accepted forms of ID is available on our website and free voter ID is available to those that do not have an accepted form of photo ID. 

Ends

For more information contact Ella Downing, Senior Communications Adviser on 029 2034 6824, out of office hours 07789 920 414 or edowning@electoralcommission.org.uk 

Notes to editors

  • Police and Crime Commissioner elections are happening in the 4 police force areas in Wales (South Wales Police, North Wales Police, Gwent Police and Dyfed Powys Police). PCCs aim to cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police service within their police force area. They are elected by the public to hold Chief Constables and the police force to account on their behalf.
  • Research shows only 66% of 18-34 year olds across Wales are registered, compared to 92% of those over 65.
  • 16-year-olds and qualifying foreign nationals resident in Wales can register to vote, but are only eligible to vote at devolved elections. More information is available on our website.
  • The Commission’s ‘Note to Self’ campaign is currently running in Wales and aims to raise awareness of the requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at the polling station on 2 May. The campaign also aims to ensure that people who do not have an accepted form of photo ID are aware that they can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate, or ‘voter ID’.
  • 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 Welsh, UK and Scottish parliaments.