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YOUR VOTE, YOUR VOICE – Creating awareness on changes to VOTER ID rules -Sharmin Shajahan

Updated: 5 days ago

With the imminent launch of the Phase II of the Your Vote, Your Voice Greater London Authority Voter ID awareness campaign, we reflect on the successes and insights gained from Phase I which was described as "very useful and informative."

The project “Your Vote, Your Voice”, delivered by Voice4Change-England during phase one of the GLA Voter ID grants programme, raised awareness and increased understanding about the changes requiring photo identification to vote and encouraging under-registered and under-represented groups from Black and Minoritised Ethnic (BME) communities in London to register to vote and fulfill their civic and democratic rights.

In particular, we engaged with hard-to-reach groups who have barriers to access and understanding information, such as elderly migrant communities whose first language is not English, people from Deaf communities, Asian communities and Orthodox Jewish community who do not have internet and TV at home.

Our awareness workshops with video, social media and print media campaign were well received and our members and grantees in London requested more workshops, reflecting the need for more awareness creation. A significant moment was at the launch of our campaign workshop and video that included very engaging discussions and feedback:

Speaking on the programme, Lola Owolabi, Director, Proud to Be Me said: “I think coming here today was really good, simply because I didn’t know about this new legislation about voter ID, so it’s created a lot of self-awareness. I can go back to my beneficiaries, and I can go back to my community and share what I’ve learned today so that they know what’s expected of them and they don’t lose their right to vote”.

All the workshops highlighted the fact that most participants were not aware of the changes about Voter ID and about the different types of accepted photo ID and none of the attendees in any of the workshops knew about the free Voter Authority certificates.

We carried out a survey at the end of the workshops and findings indicated that after taking part in the workshop 89% of people surveyed had an increased sense of belonging to their neighbourhood; 80% felt an increased sense of belonging to London and 89% felt ready to use their voice to vote.

Another survey feedback from project participant noted that the session was "very useful and informative. With the resources provided we will share this message and spread awareness."

This edited piece was first published here.


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