We need a democracy where all voices are heard – one where we can all have an equal say over the decisions that affect our capital. However, currently, many people are being left out of the voting process! We’ve swapped our spoons for calculators and crunched some numbers to show you just frozen out many Londoners are!
Around 20% of eligible voters are not on the electoral register, meaning they will not be able to vote in May unless they act before the deadline on 18th April. It’s worth noting that only 20% of registered voters elected the current Mayor, showing just how important it is that everyone has a say in who will shape the future of London!
A quarter of 18 to 24 year olds did not register to vote in the May 2015 general election, and only 43% made it to the polling stations. To put this in perspective – only 4% of people aged 65+ did not register to vote for the same election, and 78% of them actually voted! Without a registered vote, voices are ignored and if people are not included, policy makers will not seek to build policies to meet their needs.
Over the past two years, the UK has moved towards an Individual Electoral Registration system. This means that, rather than the head of a household registering for everyone in their home, it is now up to each individual to sign up separately.
If you have recently moved out of home to live in student or privately rented accommodation in London, then you are likely to be among the 329,000 people who dropped off of the electoral register last year. The unregistered are disproportionally the young, the poor and those from minorities… the very groups in society that need a voice most!
Surveys show that four in ten young Londoners believe their age group are confused about the registration process. Four in ten also think that the ‘lack of communication about the need of registering to vote’ is a key barrier stopping their generation from registering.
So let’s make sure all voices are heard this election! If you want to help shape the future of London, then visit our campaign hub here and make sure you register to vote before the 18th April deadline!