AN alarming one in six people in the South West is not registered to vote, according to the Electoral Commission.

A campaign has been launched in the region urging people to get on the electoral roll ahead of local elections - including for the soon to be created Somerset West and Taunton Council - on Thursday, May 2.

The Electoral Commission's Got 5? scheme is encouraging the 16 per cent of unregistered people to take five minutes to make sure they can vote by going online at

Anyone not yet registered must do so by Friday, April 12, in order to take part in the ballot in their local area.

The campaign targets people aged 18 to 34, recent home movers and private renters who are all less likely to be registered to vote.

Adrian Green, Electoral Commission regional manager for the South West, said: “The South West is gearing up for local elections in May. With most of the region going to the polls, it is vital that people in these areas register to vote before the April 12 deadline.

“It only takes five minutes to register to vote online - time that you might otherwise spend waiting for the kettle to boil or a bus to arrive. So if you want to make sure your voice is heard, go online and register now.”

To vote in local elections, a person must be registered to vote, 18 years or over on polling day and also be one of the following:

•a British citizen, a qualifying Commonwealth citizen, or a citizen of the EU;

•resident in the UK;

•not be subject to any legal incapacity to vote.