Electoral Registration:Third Sectors Role?

Like many of you, I assume, I have recently spent most evenings glued to the news channel of my choice consuming the latest updates on domestic and foreign politics. The commonly held phrase “a week is a long time in politics” has never felt more true. High stake politics playing out in the corridors of Westminster, Brussels, or indeed Washington, that will, ultimately, have a real effect on the lives of people we work with day to day. In the everyday hustle of work, families, leisure, it’s easy to feel like a passive observer of the current affairs of our country. It’s easy to feel powerless, but we are not. We are the third sector; we are a movement of people who change lives. This is not a blog about activism, everyone will have their own views about the personal and collective ways that they can get involved. This is a blog about something very practical and important that the third sector in Stirling can do to make a difference: Electoral Registration.

Encouraging people who access our services to register to vote is not party political, and it’s not contentious. It’s the first step of them being able and ready to carry out their legal right to participate in the political process.

It’s a matter of equality. People that move about are less likely to be registered to vote; these people are either traveling to access education in the case of our students and young people, or moving areas due to chaotic lives impacted by violence, drugs and alcohol use. Do you work with these groups? How could you ensure that they have information they need to register to vote? It only takes 5 minutes to have a conversation about registering to vote- are you in?

Natalie Masterson is the CEO of Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise. In the coming weeks SVE will launch materials and toolkits to help third sector organisations spread the message about Electoral Registration. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch.

Information on how to register to vote can be found here.

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