Electoral Commission in race for two million applications with registration campaign

The Electoral Commission aims to get two million people to apply to register to vote in time for next month's general election, in a major new campaign costing £1.48m.

The Electoral Commission's campaign is aiming to entice two million people to register to vote by the deadline
The Electoral Commission's campaign is aiming to entice two million people to register to vote by the deadline

It is drawing on visuals from its existing 'Got 5' campaign, which launched last year and uses everyday, mundane tasks to highlight the speed and ease with which people can register to vote.

Deadline looming

Posters and social-media posts promoting voter registration were released by the Commission last week, with the organisation’s comms team facing a race against time in its efforts to raise awareness of how voters can register.


The deadline for people to make sure they are registered to vote in the general election is 26 November, which is just two weeks away.

Disenfranchised

More than one in seven (17 per cent) of eligible voters are not correctly registered at their current address, representing as many as 9.4 million people, according to the Commission.

In addition, one in four people with a learning disability are not registered to vote, which has prompted the public sector body to team up with Mencap to produce an easy-read guide to help those affected to take part in the general election.

Quick and easy

The wider 'Got 5' campaign focuses on the short amount of time it takes to register to vote, comparing it to everyday activities like running a bath or putting a load of laundry into the washing machine.

Its key messages are that it takes just five minutes to register and that the deadline is 26 November.

Approach

The campaign includes advertising across TV, video on demand and online, as well as partnerships with organisations such as the National Union of Students and organic activity on the Commission's social-media channels.


It is aimed at all eligible voters in the UK and overseas, with a focus on demographics that are underrepresented on the electoral roll – including people from BAME backgrounds, 18- to 34-year-olds, students, those who have moved recently, and people who rent their home.

The Commission is hoping to repeat the success of the campaign at the local government elections earlier this year, when it helped get more than 300,000 new people to register to vote - significantly above the 280,000 target that had been set.

Opportunity knocks

Tim Crowley, head of campaigns at the Electoral Commission, said: "The upcoming general election provides a fantastic opportunity for us to increase the number of people who are registered to vote, and we'll be advertising on TV, video on demand and social media to target specific audiences and encourage them to register to vote before the 26 November deadline."

He added: "We know that young people and recent home-movers are less likely to be registered than other groups. Our 'Got 5?' campaign reminds people they must be registered in order to vote, and highlights how quick and easy it is to register online. It only takes five minutes."

The voter-registration campaign will end on 26 November, but the Commission will continue to provide information on voting until polling day on 12 December.



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