Today is National Voter Registration Day. This year, more than any other year, civic society groups and organisations across the UK are urging everyone to register to vote ahead of May’s General Election.
The current UK Government have rushed ahead with implementing a new voter registration system requiring every person to individually register to vote.
As a result, nearly 1 million people have fallen off the electoral register. In Cardiff we’ve seen a reduction of nearly 25,000 across the city, the majority of that figure in Cardiff Central. In one ward, Cathays, 40% of voters have disappeared since March 2014.
Labour wants to see two big changes to the new system; restoration of block registration for students in university halls (and for adults in sheltered and residential accommodation), and a new duty on schools and colleges to work with their local authority to register first time voters. A similar duty exists in a Northern Ireland and has resulted in higher registration numbers.
You can register on line at gov.uk/register-to-vote and have your National Insurance number to hand as this is needed to register. Alternatively, call Cardiff Council on 02920 872 087 (select option 5) and request a registration form.
Whichever party or candidate you plan to support, I hope that readers will make sure you are on the register so that your voice is heard on 7th May.