Electoral Commission targets North-East voters

The Electoral Commission will attempt to improve the reputation of postal voting in a bid to encourage North-East residents to vote in a referendum for a regional assembly.

The commission, an independent body set up by the Government in 2000 to modernise the electoral process and promote public awareness of electoral matters, will conduct the referendum via a postal voting system.

It has hired Euro RSCG Leedex to raise awareness and boost turnout for the referendum, as well as spell out the consequences of a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’ vote.

Leedex, which won the £110,000 account in a four-way pitch, was originally hired to publicise referenda for regional assemblies in the North-East, North-West, and the Yorkshire and Humber region. The latter two were postponed after concerns that postal voting had been subject to fraud in June’s council and European elections.

The body is due to make recommendations to the Government about how to improve the use of postal voting in a report in September. The move comes as the Local Government Association steps up efforts to ensure regional assemblies do not encroach on local council powers.

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