This week we are celebrating our incredible partners who help us to raise awareness of registering to vote. Here’s a look at our partnership with Shelter Scotland for the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.
In February, we launched our fourth joint campaign with Shelter Scotland to encourage voter registration ahead of the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.
Shelter Scotland provides advice, information and advocacy support to people in housing need, and campaigns for lasting political change to end the housing crisis.
Our partnership with Shelter Scotland, which began in 2011, means we can reach more people who are homeless or living in rented or temporary accommodation with our voter registration message. These groups are known to be among the most under-represented people on the electoral registers. Our latest research found that only 70 per cent of people in Scotland living in private rented accommodation were registered to vote, compared to 92 per cent of people who owned their home outright.
“We welcomed the opportunity to join forces again with the Electoral Commission. Whether it’s local, national, European elections or a referendum, Shelter Scotland believes it’s important that anyone who wants to vote should be able to do so.
Registering to vote gives people the opportunity to have their say on a range of issues which may be important to them.”
As part of this campaign Shelter Scotland sent information factsheets and posters to over 200 organisations across Scotland – including housing associations and homelessness service providers – to make sure that whatever their circumstances, people had the chance to vote and make their voice heard.
Shelter Scotland also raised awareness about the campaign through their website, social media and through traditional media channels.
“One of the most striking parts of working on these campaigns is seeing the confidence that registering and voting can instill in people. Often those who are homeless or moving from one temporary accommodation provider to another feel their views don’t matter; that they don’t have a voice and that all power has been stripped from them,” says Electoral Commission partnerships lead, Jonny Mitchell.
“Being told they can register to vote and that their vote matters just as much as anyone else’s can be incredibly empowering and it can be one of the first steps to building their confidence again.”