An unprecedented alliance of organisations have come together to highlight the need for people across Wales to register to vote [1], as newly-released figures show 350,000 people were missing from the electoral roll in Wales [2].

Wales’ leading pro-democracy organisation, ERS Cymru, has joined forces with the Electoral Commission, NUS Wales, Cymorth Cymru, Llamau, RNIB, Youth Cymru, ProMo-Cymru, Llais Ifanc and Chwarae Teg to raise concerns around the numbers of people who will not be registered to vote in time for the UK General Election on 8th June.

At the last General Election around 350,000 eligible potential voters in Wales were not signed up to the electoral register, with students and younger people (under 35), people living in the private rented sector, certain Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups and those from lower income backgrounds among the least likely to be on the electoral roll.vo

ERS research released today (Monday) [3] also shows that the numbers of attainers (16 and 17 year olds) on the electoral register dropped significantly since 2013 – with many of those now able to vote in this election.

In Wales the number fell by 27% between 2013-2016, with the Vale of Glamorgan ranking one of the worst declines in the UK at -64%. These dramatic falls have led to serious concerns about how many young people will vote in June.

ERS Cymru Director, Jess Blair, said:

“With just a week to go before the deadline to register, these new figures are a wake up call for everyone in Wales to make sure they are signed up to vote. With 350,000 people missing from the register altogether, that’s a huge number of citizens in Wales going without a say.”

“This election is an opportunity for people to have their say about some of the most significant political decisions in living memory – and yet a massive swathe of the population will not be able to make their voices heard.”

“Politics goes beyond voting, but failing to sign up and turn out means surrendering your say at this crucial time. This is not an election to let slide – and all of Wales will lose out if our representatives are picked by the loudest voices rather than the whole country.”

“At the last General Election in 2015 34% of registered voters didn’t vote, with one in seven of those eligible not even on the electoral register – a number greater than the share of the vote for any party. A boost in registration and turnout could make huge significant difference in June.”

“The election belongs to the voters not the government. The onus is now on parties, public sector bodies and civil society to put an extra push into voter registration to ensure no one is unnecessarily turned away from polling stations on June 8th.”

From today each of the organisations will be launching a major final-week push to encourage more people to register to vote and to make their choice on June 8th.

To register to vote please visit https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. More information can be found here: https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/uk-general-election-2017

[1] The deadline to register to vote in the General Election on June 8th is 22nd May at midnight.

[2] Newly-released figures from the Electoral Commission. Note: figures are an estimate, with both the register accuracy estimate and the completeness estimate subject to margins of error (+/- 0.9% and +/- 0.7 respectively).