One hundred thousand additional people have been added to the electoral register following a government campaign to maximise registration, Minister for the Constitution Sam Gyimah announced today.
Twenty-four local authorities received government funding to run activities to get people onto the electoral register. The £385,000 funding is part of the government’s £4.2 million drive to maximise registration, particularly among under-registered groups such as young people and those in social housing.
The authorities rolled out their campaigns between October 2013 and March 2014 which included working with universities, housing associations and other third parties as well as intensive canvassing and publicity activities. A report published today shows that there was an increase of 100,000 names on the electoral register across the funded authority areas. This included nearly 60,000 new registrations from under-registered groups, with just under a third of those targeted registered as a result of the activities.
Minister for the Constitution Sam Gyimah said:
It is great to see people everywhere signing up to have their say in how our country is run, particularly those in hard to reach groups. Registering to vote is now easier than ever before and this is clearly paying dividends.
Whilst this work is starting to have a big impact, there is still more to do. We will continue working with local authorities as this campaign expands in the coming months. It is also great to see local authorities using increasingly innovative ways to get the message out that every vote matters.
Examples of local authority campaign success include:
- a social media and poster campaign in Ceredigion, Wales, which resulted in 2,655 new student registrations
- targeted canvassing of social renters in Lambeth which helped achieve a record response rate of over 94% during an extended canvass period
- a publicity campaign in Greater Manchester resulting in 25,799 unique visits to its new campaign website
- a canvassing and poster campaign in South Tyneside resulting in attainer registration rates rising from 74% to 82%
This campaign activity will continue, with a second phase of funding announced in February which provides every Electoral Registration Office (ERO) in Great Britain with a share of £3.6 million funding to help with the costs of local activities to maximise registration.
The publication of the report comes after the government launched online electoral registration in June, which makes registering to vote quicker and simpler than ever before and also more secure. The process now takes just 3 minutes by simply providing a name, address, date of birth and National Insurance number.