Turnout drive for elections

The Electoral Commission has launched a campaign to bolster turnout at the 4 May local elections, with a particular focus on urging ethnic minorities to vote.

The 'Your town, your street, your say' campaign includes a pilot scheme focusing on ethnic minorities, 17 per cent of whom are not registered to vote compared with six per cent of white people.

The pilot is taking place in the West Midlands, targeting media including The Voice, the Caribbean Times and Sunrise Radio. The message is that people must register by 13 March, and that voting
affects every aspect of life.

The wider campaign – ahead of elections in 177 English local authorities – will let people know how to register, and will highlight reasons to vote, such as clean streets, parks and care for the elderly.

It has also launched a 'Democracy Cookbook', providing activities for use by youth workers to encourage young people to register to vote from the age of 16.

A recent report showed that 3.7 million people in England and Wales did not register in 2000 – nine per cent of the eligible population. The commission's comms director is Angela Salt.

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