This Thursday (5 February) is National Voter Registration Day. Spearheaded by campaign group Bite the Ballot, last year it encouraged more than 50,000 people to register. This year’s target is 250,000.
When people are not on the electoral register and therefore not eligible to vote, it’s democracy that suffers. Politics becomes less representative and less effective.
In the 2010 election, 35% of British adults didn’t have a say in who would represent them over the next five years. This included 9.1 million women.
And when you consider that some seats were decided by as little as 50 votes last time, every vote really does count.
With less than 100 days to go until the general election, it’s crucial that people who haven’t registered to vote do so as soon as possible.
Millions of people risk missing out simply by not being on the electoral roll. Registering online takes just three minutes, and all you need is your name, address, date of birth and National Insurance number.
If you don’t think you will make it to a polling station on 7 May, a postal vote will ensure your voice is heard. Anyone can apply for one postal vote, and you don’t even need a reason.
If you’re already registered to vote, you’re in a good position to start a conversation about the election with your family, friends and work colleagues. Encourage them to register so that they too can have their say in May.
A YouGov poll last year made sobering reading, suggesting that up to two million young people would decide not to vote in the election.
This election could well be determined by a small number of votes in a few marginal constituencies, so there is no doubt that every missing vote could have an impact on who gets the keys to Downing Street.
UNISON is part of the Mirror‘s “No Voice No Vote” campaign. So why not persuade someone you know to register today?