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.
Black faith leaders and community groups are supporting the campaign which is raising awareness of changes to the voting system.
Almost one in four Black Londoners (27 per cent) are currently unaware of the new need for photo ID to vote in person.
The GLA, with support from faith leaders and community groups, has launched an impartial public awareness campaign that aims to help under-represented and under-registered Londoners, including Black 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 a Black, South Asian 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 Black 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. Black Londoners are by far the most likely ethnic group to have either applied already or have a plan to apply.
The campaign will reach Black 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 British Sign Language.
Minister & Pastor Marjorie Esomowei, Co-Founder of Triumphant Church International “Voting is a method to reaffirm our civil rights and shape policies on issues like education, healthcare, housing and justice, and much more. Black Londoners are amongst those that are under-registered and under-represented, with almost one in four Black Londoners currently unaware of the need for photo ID to vote in person. This means too many Black 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 Black Londoners have access to correct and reliable information so that we can increase confidence, literacy and action in this important matter. It’s really important that people take heed of this and act because, no vote, no voice.”
There are three simple steps to getting heard:
- Register to vote
- Check if you have an accepted form of photo voter ID
- If not, apply for the free Voter Authority Certificate
For further information, visit the GLA Democracy Hub: https://registertovote.london/