• Monday, May 20, 2024

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Capital comes together to raise awareness about changes to the voting system and encourage voter registration amongst under-registered and under-represented Londoners

By: Admin Super

  • The Greater London Authority (GLA) has launched a campaign to help all eligible Londoners access their right to vote, in collaboration with Shout Out UK, London borough electoral services and a coalition of civil society organisations
  • South Asian faith leaders, public figures and community groups are supporting the campaign which is raising awareness of changes to the voting system
  • A third (33%) of Asian Londoners are unaware of the new need for photo ID to vote in person.

 

The GLA, with support from faith leaders, public figures and community groups, has launched an impartial public awareness campaign that aims to help under-represented and under-registered Londoners, including South Asian Londoners, access their right to vote.

London has one of the lowest voter registration rates in England, with analysis from the GLA showing that close to one in five people (18 per cent) from Asian, Black or Minority Ethnic background are at risk of losing their democratic voice because they are not registered to vote, compared to just five per cent of White British Londoners who are in the same situation.

 

The campaign aims to let those from under-registered and under-represented groups, including South Asian Londoners, know about the need for eligible voters to register as a first step. This includes the option to register anonymously for those concerned about their name and address appearing on the electoral register. It will inform of the new requirement to show an accepted form of photo ID to vote in person. This can be a UK, EU and Commonwealth passport; a UK and EU Driving Licence, a Blue Badge, Oyster 60+ photocard or a Freedom Pass.

 

The campaign will also advise on steps to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate for Londoners who do not have one of the accepted forms of photo ID. Just one in five Londoners have heard of the free Voter Authority Certificates (20 per cent), and only four per cent have applied for one.

 

The campaign will reach South Asian Londoners across a variety of engagement methods and channels including social media, traditional media, grassroots community engagement and through a WhatsApp Democracy chatbot (+44 7908 820 136). This includes accessible materials for Deaf and disabled Londoners, with resources available in Easy Read format and 16 community languages, including Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, Urdu and British Sign Language.

 

Zamiha Desai, Founder of ReccomendAsian & ProfessionalAsian “South Asian Londoners are amongst those that are under-registered and under-represented, with as many as a third of people currently unaware of the need for photo ID to vote in person. This means too many South Asian Londoners are at risk of losing the opportunity to exercise their democratic right to vote.

 

We are proud to support the GLA Voter ID awareness campaign to ensure that South Asian Londoners have access to correct and reliable information so that we can increase confidence, literacy, and action in this important matter. We hope that our support will help more South Asian Londoners understand the power of their vote and how they can use it to help shape policies on issues like education, healthcare, housing, after all, no vote, no voice.’

There are three simple steps to getting heard:

  1. Register to vote
  2. Check if you have an accepted form of photo voter ID
  3. If not, apply for the free Voter Authority Certificate

 

For further information, visit the GLA Democracy Hub: https://registertovote.london/

[1] The survey was carried out online by YouGov for the GLA between 18th August to 4th September 2023, with a response of 1,595 London residents aged 18+, including a 523 ethnic minority sample boost. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all London adults (aged 18+). https://data.london.gov.uk/gla-opinion-research/press-releases/

[2] 82 per cent of Londoners from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background are registered, compared to 95 per cent of White British Londoners. 81 per cent of non-UK born Londoners are registered, compared to 91 per cent of UK-born Londoners. 88 per cent of social renters and 81 per cent of private renters are registered to vote, compared with 94 per cent of homeowners – occupiers. GLA, Survey of Londoners 2021-22, September 2022 https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/survey-of-londoners-2021-22

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