Wales politics

Assembly election voter registration 'critical'

Ballot box

The assembly's presiding officer is urging people to make sure they are registered to vote in May's elections.

Dame Rosemary Butler said it was "critical" that people voted, with more powers coming to Wales.

She said fewer than half of those eligible to vote did so in 2011.

"Yet when I tell people that around £16bn is spent on things like health and education, they quickly take an interest in how that money should be spent," she said.

Elections for the assembly and police and crime commissioners take place on 5 May.

There are concerns that up to 70,000 people in Wales - the number of voters in a typical constituency - have not registered to vote out of an adult population of 2.3m.

Speaking on National Voter Registration Day on Friday, Dame Rosemary said: "Encouraging more people to vote has been a key part of my role as Presiding Officer through campaigns like Women in Public Life, and tackling the democratic deficit.

"Devolution in Wales is moving into a new era with more powers set to lie here and more decisions made in Wales, for Wales."

Rhydian Thomas, head of the Electoral Commission in Wales, said they were fully behind the drive to recruit more voters.

"It's a fantastic opportunity to spread the message that young people, students, renters and home-movers are still much less likely to be registered to vote," he said.

Details of how to register to vote are available online.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites