Register to vote to have your say in May

February 29 2016

Register to vote to have your say in May

ON Thursday May 5th voters in Bristol will go to the polls. The elected Mayor, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset and all 70 ward councillors are up for election.

Bristol City Council is keen to encourage Bristol citizens to vote.

Yvonne Dawes, Deputy Electoral Registration Officer for Bristol City Council, says: “Anyone not yet registered to vote should do so as soon as possible so they can have their say on issues that affect their daytoday lives.

“The May 2016 elections will give the citizens of Bristol an unprecedented opportunity to exercise a democratic right to directly influence the makeup of the city’s leadership. To vote you must be registered: there is no exception.”

To be able to vote, you must be over 18 years old, a citizen of Britain, the Commonwealth, Irish Republic or a European Union member state, and living at an address in Bristol.

At the beginning of last December there were 316,414 people registered to vote in Bristol.

This figure is 1% less than that recorded at the beginning of December 2014 and 6% less than the peak just prior to the 2015 General Election.

With two big universities in the city, students make up nearly 10% of Bristol’s population and they are very likely to come from other parts of UK or EU. Amy Moir, a local student from Wales, says:” I’m registered at home and I am going to vote there. I feel like I don’t have enough information about the elections in Bristol to make any kind of informed decision.”

Bristol had one of the highest student registration rates in the country for the 2015 general election. At the beginning of February 2016 Bristol had 16,401 European electors on the register.

Alvaro Fernandez, a local resident who works on Gloucester Road, says: “I did not know that as a European citizen I can vote in local and mayoral elections. I will definitely register for the May’s election. I’ve lived in Bristol since last summer and it is important for me to express my political view and have my say in place where I live.”

It will only take few minutes to register online on www.gov.uk/registertovote. The deadline is April 18. If you need help to register online you can visit your local library or Citizen Service Point at 100 Temple Street.