The government has today announced that almost £10 million will be given to local authorities and to national activity to boost the number of people registering to vote around the country. This builds on the £4.2 million allocated for the previous financial year and the enormous success of online registration, which has seen over 4 million people apply to be on the electoral register since it was introduced in June 2014.
£6.8 million has been allocated to local authorities so that they can expand their programmes of canvassing and other activities aimed at encouraging people in their areas to register to vote. Up to £2.5 million will be used to fund wider activity, including working with national organisations to encourage groups who are not as well represented on the electoral register in general, such as young people including students and overseas voters.
£500,000 will also go towards efforts to boost confidence in the elections process.
Cabinet Office Minister Sam Gyimah said:
The right to vote has been hard-won, and it is the duty of everyone in public life, including the government, to make sure everyone who is eligible to vote is able to vote.
The £9.8 million package announced by the government today will give local authorities the resources they need to make sure they can invite people to register to vote. Alongside the national activity we are supporting to reach under-registered groups, I am confident we will head into the next election the most accurate and complete electoral register possible.
£6.8 million will be allocated to local authorities according to levels of under-registration. This means areas with higher concentrations of under-registered groups like students receive a higher share of the funding. It is up the individual authorities to decide on the best way to maximise voter registration in their area, which could include working with charities or other organisations working locally. This could include further letters to households – to help identify those who have moved home and invite those that need to register to do so – and more door-to-door canvassing, targeted either at under-registered groups such as students, or specific wards where registration rates are lower.