The Electoral Commission is launching a new marketing campaign to support voter registration in Wales and Scotland following a change in the law which has opened up eligibility to young people and foreign nationals.
Under the new regulations, the age of voting eligibility for Senedd elections has been lowered to 16 in Wales, while the vote is also available to all nationalities, having previously been limited to British, Irish, and qualifying Commonwealth and EU citizens.
Citizens of all nationalities aged 16 and over will be eligible to vote in Scottish Parliament and local elections when the legislation comes into force from August.
The campaign, devised by MSQ Partners, uses black and white photography of people who represent the newly enfranchised groups, brought to life with contemporary typographical animations.
It launches across social media, digital audio and digital display in Wales this week, and is designed to express a welcoming message to each audience while highlighting the benefits that voting can bring to them and encouraging them to register.
MSQ developed the campaign media strategy using expat behaviour and foreign language targeting to reach relatively specific groups in Wales and Scotland. An additional resource pack has also been developed and supplied to external stakeholders to share with their audiences to further extend the reach.
Electoral Commission head of campaigns Emma Hartley said: “This is a big change to the voting franchise, so it is vital that all audiences are aware of their new right to vote and know they need to register online. MSQ worked diligently to understand our audiences, enabling a campaign that will reach, and resonate with, new voters.”
MSQ chief executive Peter Reid added: “We’re very proud of the effective work we have done with the Electoral Commission over the years. This is a big step to engage new and harder to reach audiences, in an effort to ensure that everyone understands their voting rights.”
The agency group, which was first appointed to the Electoral Commission account in 2017, has already started working on the second phase of the campaign, extending the message into educational resources to be circulated within formal and informal education environments across Scotland and Wales.
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