Boris Johnson’s preferred poll date of 15th October for a snap general election would restrict the numbers of students registered to vote, campaign aides have privately admitted.
According to The Times, the Government apparently factored in term times, as holding a General Election in the middle of next month would leave less time for university students to register.
Students can register to vote at both home and term-time addresses and can vote in both respective wards in local council elections. However, as it is only possible to vote in one constituency in a General Election, it would mean that students not registered at university addresses would be presented with the obstacle of having to travel to their home constituencies to vote.
Critics, including Jeremy Corbyn, have tweeted about the alleged attempt to suppress votes made by the Conservative government, as well as tweeting encouragement to register to vote using the online form.
Boris Johnson doesn’t want you to be able to vote. Make sure you can.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) September 6, 2019
Of course it’s true, and it’s not new – Tories have been experimenting with voter suppression for years now (voter ID, removing automatic voter re-registration, scaremongering about postal voting, etc)
— James E. Baldwin (@james_e_baldwin) September 6, 2019
According to a Government website, this week alone has seen a surge in voter registrations. Paper form registrations increased from 14 on 1st September, to 14,000 two days later. Meanwhile, electronic applications spiked to almost 70,000 on 3rd September from 16,000 on 1st September. The age group with the highest number of voter registrations are 25-34 year-olds, with under 25’s (which include most students) in a close second place. Over one million people have registered to vote since Mr Johnson became Prime Minister, with over 100,000 registering in a 48-hour period on Monday and Tuesday this week.