On the International Day of Democracy (15 September), Dr Elisabeth Pop, Lead Officer on Democratic Participation at the Greater London Authority (GLA) calls on Londoners to get involved in London Voter Registration Week taking place 20-26 September 2021, supported by our Citizenship & Integration Initiative.
London has one the lowest voter registration rates among the UK regions and nations.
Black, Asian, ethnic minority and migrant Londoners (including European and Commonwealth Londoners), young Londoners (aged 16–24), and social and private renters are among the most under-registered and under-represented communities and many have been disproportionally impacted by the pandemic.
As local authorities, civil society organisations and funders, we have a duty and the power to ensure all Londoners can fully participate in their city, so we are calling on everyone to take action in London Voter Registration Week 2021.
Today (15 September) is the International Day of Democracy, a great opportunity to remind you that London Voter Registration Week 2021 is fast approaching.
Due to take place between 20-26 September, the week will see the GLA working together with all London’s borough electoral services and over 100 civil society organisations in a digital campaign that brings together the largest non-party political, impartial, non–election specific democratic participation partnership between a regional authority, statutory bodies and civil society.
Together with delivery partner Shout Out UK and in co-production and co-delivery with London’s under-registered and under-represented communities, the GLA has created resources in over 20 community languages, for victims of domestic abuse who can register anonymously, around mental health and climate change, as well as new Media Literacy assets that tackle misinformation and disinformation.
London has already shown us that democracy does not stop, even in a pandemic. The hope is to build on the success of London Voter Registration Week 2020:
- over 27,000 people registered to vote across London - a 14% increase from the week before, despite the number of people registering to vote falling by 5% across the rest of the UK.
- almost 6,000 young people (16 to 24-year olds) registered to vote across London - a 23% increase from the week before, despite a decrease by 6% nationwide.
Ways you can help
Join a pan–London coalition of civil society organisations supporting London Voter Registration Week 2021. You could:
- Register to vote if you haven’t already or if you have moved to a new house since you last registered.
Calling all British, EU and Commonwealth Londoners: you have the right to register and vote in London! Go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote - it takes less than 5 minutes!
- Help others get heard – get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to find out more about London Voter Registration Week 2021 and access all the resources produced for this project including diverse infographics, posters, GIFs, animations, a video and the Political and Media Literacy resources created by Shout Out UK for educators.
Please share them as widely as possible in your networks, and from Monday 20 September you can also access them on the LVRW Hub.
Finally, a reminder that for London’s democracy to work, every Londoner needs to have equal, accessible and representative access to their civic and democratic rights - #NoVoteNoVoice. So take part in London Voter Registration Week 2021 and then be sure to check out the #LondonVoices research.
15 September 2021
Dr. Elisabeth Pop is one of UK’s non-party political democratic engagement experts, having led some of the biggest coalitions on voter registration and contributed to research and advocacy on active citizenship and democratic reform. She is currently on secondment at the Greater London Authority, part of the Citizenship and Integration Initiative, acting as Lead Officer on Democratic Participation. Elisabeth has conceptualised and coordinated the design and delivery of London Voter Registration Week, the biggest non-party political democratic partnership between a regional authority, statutory bodies and a broad civil society coalition, and is currently coordinating the “London Voices” project.
The Citizenship & Integration Initiative (CII) is a pooled fund held by Trust for London that brings together funding from independent foundations to support Londoners of all backgrounds to have meaningful opportunities to participate in the life of the city and the decisions that affect them. It works closely with the Greater London Authority (GLA) to achieve these goals by funding the secondment of civil society experts into the GLA’s Social Integration team and by supporting community-led projects that further the initiative’s goals.