Over 11,000 properties have at least one person living in them but no one on the electoral register, according to research by Mr Denham.
Labour’s John Denham MP is joining the calls for more public awareness on electoral registration – so that voters can have more details on how to register to vote before the deadline on 18 April.
Southampton City Council recently voted to implement more proactive measures to increase voter registration. If Labour gains control of the Council in May, they will do all they can to ensure these measures are put into place, with cross-party support.
The closing date for nominations for local election candidates closes tomorrow (Wednesday at noon), and the local campaigns have already started. To register to vote, go to https://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk.
Mr Denham said:
“Regardless of party affiliation, I think everyone will agree that this year’s local elections in Southampton are the most important in a decade. The sheer scale of having 11,000 properties, which are thought to have people living in them, not on the electoral roll just goes to show how difficult it can be to get everyone registered to vote. Some of the homes may be lived in by people not entitled to vote, but most will simply be losing their chance to vote.
“That’s why I support the campaign to raise more awareness. With nominations closing for the local elections in May, the campaign in Southampton has now started.
“This opportunity to change the political direction of Southampton should not be wasted. The Tories have made a mess of running the City Council, and only Labour can provide the best future for Southampton”
In March’s Full Council, Labour Group leader Cllr Richard Williams moved the motion: ‘Council resolves to maximise its efforts to ensure all Southampton residents are registered to vote’. The motion was successfully approved.
The Electoral Commission’s 2012 public awareness campaigns is called: ‘It’s your vote, don’t lose it’. The campaign was launched on 12 March in England, Scotland and Wales across online, radio, television. It aims to raise awareness of the elections taking place and to provide voters with details of how to register to vote before the deadline on 18 April.
The message for the campaign is ‘It’s your vote, don’t lose it’, and the adverts will point people to this website: www.aboutmyvote.co.uk or call centre (0800 3 280 280) for further information or to get a registration form. Registration adverts in England, Scotland and Wales will highlight ‘elections in your area’ while voter information adverts in Scotland will highlight ‘local council elections in Scotland’. Press and radio adverts have been adapted to include reference to the mayoral referendums in the 10 cities where these are taking place.
The public awareness campaign is funded by the Electoral Commission as approved by the Speaker’s Committee. Activity specific to the local council elections in Scotland will be funded by the Scottish Government.