HC Deb 08 March 2004 vol 418 c1326W
Simon Hughes

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what steps the Commission is taking to improve voter turnout in June for(a) the London Assembly elections, (b) European elections, (c) Mayoral elections and (d) other local elections. [159235]

Mr. Viggers

The Electoral Commission has a duty under section 13 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 to "promote public awareness of:

  1. (a) current electoral systems in the United Kingdom and any pending such systems, together with such matters connected with any such existing or pending systems as the Commission may determine;
  2. (b) current systems of local government and national government in the United Kingdom and any pending such systems; and
  3. (c) the institutions of the European Union."

To this end, I understand from the Chairman of the Commission that it will be running a UK-wide voter awareness campaign, comprising TV and press advertising, leaflets distributed to public places, PR, and outreach work targeting young 'hard to reach' audiences. This activity will be supported by a national telephone call centre and an elections website, from which members of the public will be able to find out which elections are taking place in their area on 10 June, how to register, how to vote, and what roles and powers are held by each of the democratic institutions being elected. The website will also carry links to other sites of relevance to the June elections.

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