On May 2nd, local elections will be held to elect 16 Southampton councillors. With young people being one of the groups least likely to vote, here are some misconceptions about voting addressed.
I’m not a UK citizen, so I can’t vote
Citizens of the UK can vote in all elections held in their area, however citizens of Commonwealth countries can vote in local elections too. Even with Brexit, EU nationals can still register and vote in the 2019 local elections.
I’m already registered to vote at home
For local elections, you are legally able to cast two ballots if you have two different residences in two different local authorities. You can also arrange to have a postal ballot for the address you don’t plan on being at on the day of the election.
Voting never changes anything, especially locally
Okay, local government isn’t as interesting as Westminster, but it’s still an important branch of government. Councils are responsible for key areas such as the environment and transportation. If you decide to live in Southampton after university, the council will be partly responsible for the creation of job opportunities in the city.
It takes too much time to register
Nope, simply five minutes of your day online. In fact, even if it were much longer, it would still be worth registering to vote.
Politicians never listen to young people
Politicians don’t have any reason to listen to us if we don’t vote. Only by registering to vote before April 12th can you have the chance of seeing things change in the way you want. You can register at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote