Sandwell Council has been praised for its efforts in engaging with the community and schools to raise awareness of elections and the importance of voting.
The council was invited to showcase its ways of reducing barriers to electoral participation at the Association of Electoral Administrators national conference held in Brighton earlier this month (February).
The conference, attended by almost 300 delegates from nearly all the electoral services in the country, heard how Sandwell has developed its work to make sure voter registration and democracy awareness barriers are reduced as much as possible.
The council’s electoral participation officer Surinder Singh highlighted the key points on how Sandwell engaged with schools and faith and community organisations.
He gave examples on how the council ran special voter registration surgeries across the borough and helped to train democracy ambassadors within the community.
Emma Smith, head of democratic engagement at the Cabinet Office, said that Sandwell Council is doing “some really wonderful work in this area and that it would be great for other councils to implement this good practice in their communities too”.
Surinder said: “Being invited to speak at the conference clearly shows that Sandwell Council’s commitment to make the voter registration process for hard-to-reach communities as simple as possible has gained national recognition.
“This would not have been possible without the help of our fantastic partnerships we have developed with schools, community and faith-based organisations in Sandwell.”