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The week of 14th-20th September 2020 saw Shout Out UK and the GLA run a city-wide online campaign to address voter registration inequality in London. Launched with the support of all London boroughs, the London Voter Registration Strategic Partnership, and over 100 civil society organisations, LVRW 2020 gained the support of a further 100 civil society organisations and influencers and achieved a total online reach of 2.6 million people.

This resulted in 27,120 people registering to vote across London during LVRW 2020, a 14 per cent increase from the week before, this was in contrast to a 5 percent drop in voter registration rates across the rest of the UK.

The week also saw 5,920 young people (16 to 24-year olds) register to vote across London. This is a 23 per cent increase from the week before, despite the number of young people registering to vote falling by 6 per cent nationwide.

These results showed that, even during a pandemic, and during a week in which voter registration was falling elsewhere, LVRW was able to inspire very significant online democratic engagement in the capital.

Now in its second year, the aim of LVRW 2020 was to address voter registration inequality in London, which has one of the lowest voter registration rates across the UK [1]. It sought to promote registration among traditionally under-registered groups, namely Black, Asian, minority ethnic and migrant Londoners, including Commonwealth and EU Londoners, in line with current voting rights. The campaign also worked to engage private and social renters [2]; as well as the one in three young Londoners not registered to vote [3]. Many of these under-registered and under-represented groups have also been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the slogan #NoVoteNoVoice, a pan-London coalition of support shared digital assets, videos and animations online, as well as education resources. These included the GLA’s Political Literacy pack, also created in collaboration with Shout Out UK, and resources in community languages, ensuring that content about the importance of registering to vote and its benefits was made accessible to all Londoners.

The week saw the production of unique viral content including a ‘mockumentary’ breaking down the voter registration process, which gained over 150,000 views as well as two animations on “The history of voting rights” and “Who and how to register to vote”, which gained 140,000 views together.

The project was run in coordination and collaboration with the London Voter Registration Strategic Partnership – made up of statutory bodies such as the Electoral Commission and the London Association of Electoral Administrators.

In addition to educational bodies and faith groups, the LVRW 2020 pan–London coalition partnered with community organisations representing ethnic minority and migrant communities as well as antiracist and advocacy groups; BAME housing associations; organisations representing or working with disabled Londoners and LGBTQIA+ Londoners. Together, they ensured that between 925,000 and 1.2 million Londoners were directly reached with the LVRW 2020 digital and education resources.

Matteo Bergamini, CEO/Founder Shout Out UK: “A voter registration drive must have political literacy at its core. Voter registration should be more than just a public service announcement to register, it should shed light on the system and its history. We all engage better with a system we understand.

The LVRW 2020 animations contained information essential to developing political literacy, which translated into a significant boost to London’s voter registration rates: the campaign has shown that democratic participation and Political Literacy must go hand-in-hand.

I created Shout Out UK when I was 22-years old with the aim of ensuring that everyone knows how our political system works, through political literacy, and then engages with that system. LVRW 2020’s success brought us a step closer to that goal. We couldn’t be prouder of our partnership with the GLA.”

Sarah Mulley, GLA Executive Director, Communities and Skills, and chair of London Voter Registration Strategic Partnership: “This year has brought with it a huge amount of uncertainty and upheaval which is why, as we begin to consider the sort of society we want to build beyond the pandemic, the need for meaningful civic engagement is greater than ever.

Thanks to the hard work of Shout Out UK, our London Voter Registration Strategic Partners and a broad, pan – London civil society coalition of support, London Voter Registration Week has been a resounding success. I am particularly encouraged by the uptick in registrations from young Londoners.”

To find out more about LVRW 2020 and access all of the resources produced for this project – diverse infographics, posters, memes, animations, a video and the Political Literacy resources created by Shout Out UK for educators, please visit the LVRW Hub at registertovote.london

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ENDS

Notes to editors

[1] Cabinet Office, Atlas of Democratic Variation, January 2019

[2] 83% of Londoners from a Black ethnic background are registered, compared to 94% of eligible White British Londoners. 85% of social renters and 86% of private renters are registered to vote, compared with 93% of homeowners – occupiers. GLA, Survey of Londoners, June 2019

[3] 72% of eligible 16-24-year-old Londoners are registered to vote, compared with 97% of 65+ year olds. GLA, Survey of Londoners, June 2019 https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/survey-of-londoners-headline-findings