Electoral Commission distributes 1m beer mats

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Approaching deadline: the Electoral Commission is targeting unregistered voters under the age of 34
Approaching deadline: the Electoral Commission is targeting unregistered voters under the age of 34
Ahead of the deadline for voters to sign up for the upcoming local elections on 3 May, the Electoral Commission has distributed around 1m beer mats to pubs and bars encouraging their punters to register.

The group’s new 'Got 5?' campaign is encouraging anyone who isn’t already registered to vote in next month’s local elections to sign up​ whenever they’ve got five minutes spare – whether it’s waiting for a bus, train, or friends at the pub.

The campaign looks to target the third of voters under the age of 34 who are currently not registered for the local elections on 3 May.

Beer mats have been distributed to more than 900 venues in areas holding local elections, urging them to register before the deadline at midnight on 17 April.

Good use of time

Head of campaigns at the Electoral Commission, Emma Hartley, said: “In May, 151 local authorities in England, including all London boroughs, are holding elections so it’s vital people register before the deadline.

“We’re keen to see people using the time that may otherwise be wasted, like waiting for friends at the pub, to go online and complete a form in five minutes. It’s quick, simple and really important.”

The campaign is the first time the Electoral Commission has advertised on beer mats, and comes after pub giant JD Wetherspoon used beer mats​ in its venues to spread pro-Brexit messaging​.

To be eligible to vote in local council elections, a person must be over 18 years old on polling day, be a British citizen, qualifying Commonwealth citizen, or citizen of the European Union, a resident of the UK, not subject to any legal incapacity to vote, and be registered.

Provided details haven’t changed, anyone registered to vote in last year’s general election will still be registered to vote.

People can find out if elections are taking place in their area, and seek more information on local elections, on the commission’s Your Vote Matters website.​  

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