On Wednesday 5th February the Students’ Union will be holding a day of action in conjunction with Bite the Ballot in an attempt at encouraging students to register ahead of upcoming national elections.
This is part of a programme, also taking place at Solent Students’ Union, that aims to increase voter engagement among young people. In the 2010 General Election, only 56% of 18-24 year olds were registered to vote, and just 44% voted. This is compared to 96% of people aged 65+ registered, with 76% of that age group voting. Bite the Ballot is a party neutral organisation that seeks to address this deficit.
Claire Gilbert, VP Engagement at Southampton Students’ Union, says:
“In the ‘Age of Austerity’ we should have our voice heard and that won’t happen if we don’t seize this opportunity to vote. If you have ever sat at home and thought ‘what a ridiculous thing for the government to be doing’ or ‘I wish someone would do this in my local area’, now is the time to do something about it. Voting is our right and we should exercise it.”
The Students’ Union will be running a communications campaign aimed at hitting as many students as possible with a view to maximizing student signups. You can register to vote online at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk or come and visit the Students’ Union to learn how you can make yourself, and your opinion, count.