1 in 6 not registered to vote in the South West, warns Electoral Commission 

A new campaign has launched to encourage people across the South West to register to vote, ahead of local elections on 2 May 2019. 

The Electoral Commission estimates that 16% of people are not registered to vote in the region. Its ‘Got 5?’ campaign encourages people to take five minutes to register to vote online at www.gov.uk/registertovote.

Elections are taking place in 23 out of 37 local authorities in the South West. Anyone who is not yet registered must do so by Friday 12 April in order to vote in elections in their local area. 

The campaign also targets young people aged 18-34, recent home movers and private renters, who are all less likely to be registered to vote. 

Adrian Green, Electoral Commission Regional Manager for the South West, said:  “The South West is gearing up for local elections in May. With most of the region going to the polls, it is vital that people in these areas register to vote before the 12 April deadline.

“It only takes five minutes to register to vote online - time that you might otherwise spend waiting for the kettle to boil or a bus to arrive. So if you want to make sure your voice is heard, go online and register now.”

People can find out if they have elections in their area at www.yourvotematters.co.uk. Local elections select councillors, who are responsible for making decisions on running services in each local area. 

To vote in local elections a person must be registered to vote, 18 years or over on polling day and also be one of the following:

  • a British citizen, a qualifying Commonwealth citizen, or a citizen of the EU
  • resident in the UK
  • not be subject to any legal incapacity to vote

If you have recently moved house and have not changed or updated your details, you will need to register to vote online at www.gov.uk/registertovote.  

More information on voting in the local elections can be found on the Commission’s Your Vote Matters website.