London is a city lauded for its culture, ambition, and diversity. Unfortunately, the multitude of voices that make this city great aren’t being represented in our democratic process.
Despite being one of the UK’s most diverse cities and home to over 300 languages, London has a lower voter registration rate than the England average. Only 83 per cent of Londoners from a Black ethnic background are registered to vote, compared to 94 per cent of White British Londoners.
Last year, the Greater London Authority teamed up with Shout Out UK to deliver London Voter Registration Week 2021 and help boost voter registration London-wide. We managed to reach 4.7 million Londoners online, up to 1.4 million in person, register 39,302 Londoners, and inspire online democratic engagement across the capital.
London demonstrated that the wheels of democracy continue to turn, even against a backdrop of extreme strain and uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. We must continuously strive to ensure everyone is registered to vote and offered political literacy education in order to actively engage in our communities and our democratic system.
That’s why, this year, we are extremely excited to announce our renewed partnership with the Greater London Authority. With the support of the London Voter Registration Strategic Partnership, including all London borough councils, a diverse coalition of over 150 civil society organisations and educational institutions from across London, the minds and hearts behind the most successful regional voter registration drive are back with a bang to deliver London Voter Registration Week 2022!
Activity will coincide with this year’s UK Parliament Week – 14 to 20 November – and will feature a digital campaign supported by an extensive pan-London coalition of civil society organisations including youth organisations; Black, Asian, ethnic minority and migrant community organisations; LGBTQ+ organisations, education and faith institutions; private renters groups and many more. We will also be building on the success of our past two years by delivering over 20 in-person drives in sixth forms, colleges and universities across the capital. Students from across London will be given an opportunity to register to vote at dedicated assemblies, tutorials, information and voter registration stalls.
This huge coalition of civil society organisations and educational institutions shows the diverse support in London for ensuring these unique co-designed resources reach diverse networks on the ground and via online mediums, including resources in over 25 community languages, for victims of domestic abuse who can register anonymously, and as well as new Voter ID assets that address changes to voting rights brought in by the Elections Act.
The hope is to capitalise on our successes from both London Voter Registration Week 2020 and 2021 which contributed to an increase in voter registration rates by 14 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively. At such a pinnacle time in our democracy, we need every single eligible voter across London to engage, understand the democratic process and their rights through political literacy, and of course, register to vote.
In October, the EU Digital Citizenship Working Group and Meta recognised the unique LVRW co-design model and co-delivery partnership and its impact in the “Europeans Fit for a Digital Age” report, the only UK digital citizenship project to be included as a spotlight.
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 and be heard!
- Make sure you’re registered to the right address. If you have moved 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:
- 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 and the power your voice, which is your vote, has!
To find out more about London Voter Registration Week 2022 and access all the resources produced for this project – diverse infographics, pamphlets, animations, a film and the Political and Media Literacy resources created by Shout Out UK for educators – please visit the LVRW Hub at registertovote.london.
And remember: London’s voice. London’s story. #RegisterToVote.