Four in ten people still don’t know that they can register to vote online, a new poll conducted by YouGov for the Electoral Commission has found. The Commission is calling for everyone to support National Voter Registration Day, encourage people to register and help raise awareness of the online registration website – www.gov.uk/register-to-vote .
When people were asked ‘It is possible to register to vote online in England, Wales and Scotland – True / False’ 60% said true and 40% false.
– Awareness of online registration was lowest amongst 18 – 24 year olds surveyed (53% saying ‘false’).
– This compared to 35% of 25 – 39 year olds who thought online registration didn’t exist; and 43% of those aged 60 plus who didn’t think they could register online.
In addition to supporting National Voter Registration Day on 5 February, the Commission also launched the first phase of its national online registration campaign on 2 February. This will be followed by the launch of its full digital and television campaign on 16 March to get as many people registered as possible before the registration deadline on 20 April.
Jenny Watson, Chair of the Electoral Commission said:
“Online registration has made it much easier for people to register to vote, so it’s vital everyone knows it exists. Don’t let your friends and family miss out from having their say in May’s election because they didn’t know how to register or missed the deadline. On National Voter Registration Day let’s all do everything we can to get people to #registertovote”
The Electoral Commission is supporting National Voter Registration Day – an initiative initially launched by Bite the Ballot last year – in a number of ways including:
– Working with Facebook so that everyone eligible to vote will see a registration reminder message on their newsfeed. The Commission is also running an advertising campaign on Facebook to reach those who have recently turned 18 or will be 18 on polling day and encouraging them to register to vote.
– Re-launched its ‘Ballot Box Man’ YouTube advert aimed at encouraging young people to register to vote.
– Worked with community organisations from across Great Britain to help spread the register to vote message.
– Social media activity.
– Producing and sharing a range of resources for electoral administrators and the Commission’s partners from across the voluntary, public and private sectors to help them get people registered.
The Commission is also supporting the launch of Operation Black Vote’s bus tour across Great Britain to get more BME people on the electoral register, which begins on National Voter Registration Day.