Orthodox Jewish representatives in Hackney are urging peers to register to vote, amid warnings that more than 2,000 religious Jews of voting age in north London still have not done so.
In an effort to boost registration, posters have been put up in English, Yiddish and Hebrew in communal centres such as Stamford Hill, with reminders issued in synagogues and advice given on different options, such as proxy and postal voting.
Levi Schapiro, founder and director of the Stamford Hill-based Jewish Community Council (JCC), said: “Many people here are not registered to vote. It is unintentional, they are just not aware that they are not on the electoral register. On election day, they turn up at the polling station only to find out that they cannot vote.”
There is no lack of will, he said. “People want to vote. They have feelings and want to send a message at election time, but they don’t know that they have to re-register when they move house, or register the first time they vote.”
There are around 6,000 Orthodox Jewish families living between Tottenham and Stamford Hill, comprising a total of 35-40,000 people of all ages. However, a significant portion of this total will be under the age of 18 on election day next month, meaning that the 2,000 who are not registered may represent up to ten percent of London’s Orthodox voters.
“We launched a similar [registration] campaign last year for the local elections but this year it is been done far in advance of the vote,” said Schapiro.
“We know that there are still more than 2,000 Orthodox Jews of voting age who are still not registered to vote, so we know it will have an effect on the outcome. It is important that everyone can exercise their democratic right if they so choose.”