Ahead of the council elections in May, Catherine Heggie, Partnerships & Information Officer at the Electoral Commission, talks about new resources which voluntary sector organisations can use to empower those they work with to participate.
Scottish council elections are taking place on Thursday 5 May and anyone aged 16 or over and living in Scotland can participate.
We will soon be launching our national public awareness campaign ahead of the elections to encourage those who aren’t already registered to do so by midnight on Monday 18 April at gov.uk/register-to-vote. Our campaign will also increase awareness of the voting system, ensuring that voters understand they need to vote using numbers at these elections.
We recognise, though, that many people may experience barriers to registering to vote and participating in the elections, perhaps because they are disabled, have never voted before, or don’t speak English as a first language.
We want to make sure that everyone has the information and support they need to cast their vote with confidence, and this is why we work in partnership with a range of organisations who have trusted relationships with their communities.
Democratic engagement resources
A range of digital and print resources are available to download on our website, which you can use to run your own awareness campaign. We’ve also been working with partners to develop political engagement resources for use with a broad range of audiences, including 16 and 17 year olds, New Scots, disabled people, and those without a fixed address.
Webinar for voluntary sector organisations
On Monday 14 March, 2.00-3.00pm, we’re running a webinar with SCVO where voluntary sector organisations can find out more about the elections and the democratic engagement resources available. You can register for the webinar now.
If you can’t make it on the 14 March but would like to discuss how you can support people you work with to participate in the upcoming elections, you can email me at Cheggie@electoralcommission.org.uk. You can also sign up for our newsletter for partners, to stay up to date with the campaign.
Catherine Heggie is Partnerships and Information Officer (Officer) at The Electoral Commission