CFTA backs ‘Give an X’ campaign to boost voter registration and turnout

An open letter from Give an X and the Campaign for the Arts calls on everyone in the UK to use their vote, following a sharp decline in turnout of younger voters.

Major cultural figures including Michael Sheen, Meera Syal, Paapa Essiedu, Armando Iannucci, Amelia Dimoldenberg, Billy Bragg, Siobhán McSweeney, James Graham, Misan Harriman and Samuel West have urged all eligible citizens to register to vote, ahead of this Tuesday’s deadline for the upcoming local elections in England and Wales.

It comes as the non-partisan ‘Give an X’ campaign is launched by youth movements and charities, with the aim of getting every single young person in the UK registered to vote.

According to a recent study by the Resolution Foundation, turnout for 25- to 34-year-olds has dropped considerably to below 60 per cent – with the turnout gap between these voters and those aged 65 and over standing at 24 percentage points at the last general election.

In an open letter coordinated by Give an X in partnership with the Campaign for the Arts, major figures from across the creative arts urge “each and every citizen to claim their seat at the table”, saying: “Art and creativity shapes and reflects the diverse experiences of our communities. It’s vital that politics does too, and that everyone’s voice is heard in our democracy”.

The letter, which remains open for signatures, calls attention to warnings from the Electoral Commission that new photo ID requirements risk excluding hundreds of thousands of citizens, disproportionately impacting marginalised communities including those who are economically disadvantaged, disabled, and from minority ethnic backgrounds.

The Give an X campaign has been launched by leading youth sector organisations My Life My Say, the #iWill Movement and Shape History, and is being led ‘by young people, for young people’.

Samuel West, actor, director and trustee of the Campaign for the Arts, said:

“Local elections really matter – affecting all kinds of things from housing to social services, policing to recycling, nursery care to arts and cultural provision. It’s shocking that millions of people could be excluded because of new ID requirements or because they’re missing from the electoral register. Everyone deserves to have their say and be heard.”

Mete Coban MBE, Founder of My Life My Say and the Give an X campaign, said:

“Through the Give an X campaign, we are igniting a movement to empower every voice, especially those often left unheard. This partnership with the Campaign for the Arts is a call to action for a more inclusive democracy, ensuring that every citizen, regardless of background, has the power to shape the future of their communities, neighbo​urhoods, and our country.​”

Billy Bragg, singer and songwriter, said:

“This is going to be a crucial year of democracy in the UK. The May local elections will set the scene for the upcoming general election, and it is really important for everyone to understand that the Government have changed the rules, making it harder to vote. That’s why I’ve joined creatives and artists calling for all citizens to make sure they are not only registered to vote, but aware of the new requirements, to make sure no one is denied the right to participate in our democracy.”

Sharon Gaffka, TV personality and former Love Island contestant, said:

“This next set of elections, ahead of the general election later in the year, are going to be huge. Whether you’re voting in London, Manchester, or any other local elections across the country, it’s time to Give an X and have your say by registering to vote.”

Picture of CFTA Team


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