Houghton and Sunderland South MP, Bridget Phillipson has called on local residents to make their voices heard by registering to vote in local, national and European elections. Today - 5th February 2014 - marks the 182nd anniversary of the Great Reform Act which introduced the very first register of voters.
The very first registers often had between six to 12,000 voters. With the selection of some Members of Parliament controlled by one person. It was only in 1928 that women had the same voting rights as men with voting from the age of 21. In 1969 the age of voting was lowered to 18.
At the 2010 general election, only 44% of 18- to 24-year-olds voted, while 76% of those aged 65 and over cast their vote. At the moment, only half of all young people are registered to vote. Certain groups are disproportionately under-represented. Only 56% of people living in private rented homes are registered. Nearly half of those not registered to vote mistakenly believe that they are.
Commenting in support of National Voter Registration Day, Bridget Phillipson MP said:
“I would encourage as many people as possible to register to vote and make their voice heard.
“New rules will mean that individuals rather than households will need to register to vote. This change could mean that many people in our area find that they are not on the electoral register. However, I know that Sunderland City Council's Elections Team are doing all they can to make sure this doesn't happen. Not being registered to vote can have an effect on your credit rating and access to certain services.”
Learn more about registering to vote visit www.aboutmyvote.co.uk