Nick Clegg calls for new ideas to help improve the rates of young people and other under-represented groups registering to vote.
The Deputy Prime Minister was speaking at an ‘Improving voter registration’ event in London with the Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform Mark Harper MP. The DPM then took part in discussions on what more could be done with groups including Unlock Democracy, The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services and Operation Black Vote.
Traditionally young people, black and minority ethnic communities, and those in areas of high social deprivation are less likely to register to vote. The Electoral Commission estimates that over 50% of 17-24 year olds are not registered to vote, alongside 31% of black and minority ethnic (BME) British residents.
The DPM said the government is committed to taking steps to improve registration rates and asked participants what more the government could do to encourage voter registration.
Nick Clegg said:
The Coalition Government is committed to far-reaching political and constitutional reform to restore trust in politics and I take personal responsibility for that agenda.
Under-registration is concentrated among groups already underrepresented in politics: young people, black and minority ethnic communities as well as areas of high social deprivation. Inclusion and participation is fundamental to a healthy democracy. This government is taking action to improve registration but I want to know what more we can do.
Closing the event Mark Harper thanked attendees for their time and for sharing their ideas.
The Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform said:
Electoral registration is really important to the health of our democracy. If you are not registered - you can not vote - and you can not influence change.