A special bus is stopping in Nottingham next week to encourage more people to register to vote.
The bus, which is equipped with computers and internet access to enable anyone to register to vote there and then, will be in the Old Market Square on Tuesday 7 April from 10:30am to 4:30pm; at the Asda car park in Hyson Green on 8 April from 9:30am to 1:30pm and on the same day at the St Ann’s Valley Centre on Livingstone Road from 2:15 to 5pm.
Organised by Operation Black Vote, the OBV eXpress bus is touring the country with the aim of increasing registration from under-represented groups, particularly in the run-up to the Local and General Elections on 7 May.
Operation Black Vote is working with a number of other organisations including the British Chinese Project, Bite the Ballot and Operation Disability Vote to increase the number of people eligible to vote.
Simon Woolley, Director of Operation Black Vote, said: “I’m pleased our voter registration bus is coming to such a diverse city as Nottingham. The bus will encourage and enable minority communities, younger people and all those who are under-represented on the electoral register no matter what their background, to reclaim democracy and be heard by our politicians. And with so many individuals alienated from the democratic process, this is a great opportunity to be empowered and registered to vote.”
Ian Curryer, Nottingham’s returning officer and Chief Executive of the City Council, said; “It’s important that as many people as possible register to vote so they can make their voices heard at the coming elections.
“The introduction of a new voter registration system last year called Individual Electoral Registration means everyone needs to register themselves individually rather than one person being able to do it on behalf of everyone in a household. This means some people may not know they have to register and haven’t yet done so.
“We want to give everyone an opportunity to register, particularly people from black and ethnic minority communities and other groups which are currently under-represented such as young people and people with disabilities.
“What many people don’t realise is that, as well as not being able to vote, failing to register could lead to an £80 fine and make it more difficult to apply for such things as a loan or mobile phone contract.
“The bus is a great way to encourage people to register to vote in time for the elections on 7 May and we hope as many people as possible hop on board.”
The visit of the OBV eXpress has been partly funded by the Cabinet Office as part of the drive to encourage voter registration.
People can register to vote online anytime at www.gov.uk/registertovote