Students urged to join the electoral register
National Voter Registration Week marked at City
National Voter Registration Week, a drive to encourage people across the country to register to vote, took place at the beginning of February. As part of the UK-wide initiative, City University London Students’ Union encouraged students to join the electoral register.
With only half of 16-24 year olds in the UK registered to vote, the campaign was devised by not-for-profit movement group Bite the Ballot to make sure young people have the chance to create change and have their say in upcoming elections and referendums. In 2015, 441,696 people registered to vote as part of the campaign, which broke a world record (per capita).
This year’s drive focused on registering the estimated 800,000 people who have dropped off the electoral register following government changes to the system. Students in University towns were said to be at the highest risk of being disenfranchised.
Alongside the national initiative, the Union will also begin campaigning to encourage students to vote to elect new sabbatical officers.
Vice-President (Education) of the Students' Union Umar Yunas-Chaudhery said:
As a democratically-led, student-focused organisation, City University London Students’ Union encourages all members to register to vote and participate in voting for both the national and Union elections. The only way you can have your voice heard is by registering and getting to the polling station on voting day.
“With upcoming Students' Union elections, London Assembly and Mayoral elections, as well as the EU in-out referendum, there's never been a more important time for students to ensure their voices are heard.”
The Students’ Union sent an email to all its members explaining how to ensure they are registered to vote. Yunas said: “The only way to stand up and make a change is to register and vote for change.”