London is many things: a city of culture, a city of opportunity, and a city for everyone. So why are 1 in 3 young Londoners and a disproportionate percentage of ethnic minorities and private renters still not registered to vote?
Despite being one of the most diverse cities in the UK, only 83 percent of Londoners from a Black ethnic background are registered, compared to 94 per cent of eligible White British Londoners. Commonwealth and EU Londoners are also under-registered – despite having voting rights in the UK, just like citizens of Old Blighty! Commonwealth citizens can vote in all elections, but not all of these Londoners are taking advantage of their right.
Last year, the Greater London Authority teamed up with Shout Out UK to launch London Voter Registration Week 2020 and to boost youth voter registration. We did just that – by 23%! To put it simply, #NoVoteNoVoice. If you are not registered to vote, you don’t get to take advantage of our collective right to decide how our city and country looks.
That’s why, in 2021, we are back in partnership with the Greater London Authority. With the support of a host of other statutory bodies, including the Electoral Commission, and a diverse array of civil society organisations from across London – the makers of the most successful metro city and regional voter registration drive are back for London Voter Registration Week 2021!
London has shown us that democracy does not stop, even in a pandemic. We must continuously strive for everyone to be registered to vote and offered the very best political and media literacy education. Democracy is fragile, and as a Londoner, I could not be prouder that we at Shout Out UK are teaming up with the Greater London Authority once more to relaunch London Voter Registration Week 2021, and support them in ensuring that the multitude of voices that make this city great are registered and represented.
London Voter Registration Week 2021 will take place between 20 – 26 September and will see a social media campaign supported by a broad, cross-London coalition of civil society organisations made up of youth organisations; education and (inter)faith institutions; Black, Asian, ethnic minority and migrant community organisations; private renters groups and many others.
This huge coalition of civil society organisations shows the diverse support in London for disseminating these vital resources in their networks and via online mediums, including resources in over 20 community languages, for victims of domestic abuse who can register anonymously, resources around mental health and climate change, and as well as new Media Literacy assets that tackle misinformation and disinformation.
The hope is to build on the success of London Voter Registration Week 2020, which contributed to over 27,000 people registering to vote across London – a 14 percent increase from the week before, despite the number of people registering to vote falling by 5 percent across the rest of the UK. The week also saw almost 6,000 young people (16 to 24-year olds) register to vote across London – a 23 percent increase from the week before, despite the number of young people registering to vote falling by 6 per cent nationwide.
Ways you can help
We’re doing our bit with a social media campaign supported by all London boroughs and a broad coalition of civil society organisations from across the capital. But we need your help too. You could:
- Register to vote, if you haven’t already. Calling all British, EU and Commonwealth Londoners: you have the right to register!
- Make sure you’re registered at the right address. If you have moved to a new house since you last registered, you must register again at your new address. Go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote – it takes less than 5 minutes!
- Keep an eye on our social media channels – twitter.com/shoutout_UK; facebook.com/ShoutOutUK/; instagram.com/shoutoutuk_official; tiktok.com/@shoutoutuk_official?lang=en . We’ll be sharing all sorts of useful information, so spread the word using #NoVoteNoVoice and #RegisterToVote.
- As always, work on your political and media literacy. Registering to vote is a right, but you can’t make the most of it until you understand the way our democracy works.
To find out more about London Voter Registration Week 2021 and access all the resources produced for this project – diverse infographics, posters, GIFs, animations, a video and the Political and Media Literacy resources created by Shout Out UK for educators – please visit the LVRW Hub at registertovote.london.
And remember: This Is Not A Trend. This Is London. This Is You. – #NoVoteNoVoice, so #RegisterToVote now!