The Rainbow Project and the Electoral Commission have today launched a campaign across Northern Ireland urging the LGBT community to ensure they are registered to vote for the upcoming Northern Ireland Assembly election.
The Rainbow Project, the largest organisation in Northern Ireland which works to promote the health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender people and their families, is working in partnership with both the Electoral Commission and commercial venues to target first time voters and those who may have changed their name or address since the previous election, to make sure their voice is heard in the upcoming election on 5 May 2016.
Launching the charity’s #OUT2Vote campaign John O’Doherty, Director of The Rainbow Project said: “With just over three weeks until voter registration closes we would urge everyone to ensure they are registered to vote. Many within our community, particularly young people, feel disillusioned with politics in Northern Ireland.
“This election is an opportunity to give the LGBT community a strong voice, and if you don’t register to vote you lose that voice. By working in partnership with commercial venues such as Maverick Bar we can bring politics to the dancefloor and target first time voters who are often alienated from the political process, helping them realise that their vote really does matter.”
Over the next few weeks volunteers from The Rainbow Project will be visiting various commercial LGBT venues across Belfast to talk to young people about the importance of registering to vote, as well as pushing a social media campaign to encourage people to ensure they are ‘out to vote’ on 5 May 2016.
Ann Watt, Head of the Electoral Commission’s office in Northern Ireland said: “Our most recent research showed that one in three people in Northern Ireland believed that they would be automatically added to the electoral register once they turned 18.
“It’s therefore important that first time voters and young people take the time to register to vote so that they can have their say at the Northern Ireland Assembly election”.
The deadline to register to vote for the Northern Ireland Assembly election is Monday 18 April 2016. To register to vote please visit www.aboutmyvote.co.uk or visit the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland’s website www.eoni.org.uk/Register-To-Vote
For more information about The Rainbow Project please visit www.rainbow-project.org