On Thursday 5th February 2015, British Youth Council (BYC) will mark National Voter Registration Day by calling on their members to register to vote. The British Youth Council has been campaigning to mobilise youth influence in the general election through the League of Young Voters, with a potential reach of 3 million undecided young votes.
Cabinet Office boost voter registration campaign
It was also announced today that BYC is to receive a grant from the Democratic Engagement Team of the Cabinet Office to promote voter registration awareness.
Mita Desi, Chair of the British Youth Council, said: “It’s great to have this support to boost our pre-election voter-registration campaign. We are targeting schools and colleges to mobilise a new age for democracy. We are challenging the myth that youth people don’t care and won’t vote – WE DO AND WE WILL. The British Youth Council and hundreds of thousands we represent want to be a positive influence in our democracy so our message to all young people is Get Registered = Get Heard, Get Questioning Get Answers, Get Voting – Get Represented.”
League of Young Voters – momentum growing!
The League of Young Voters campaign will be our chance to remind all party leaders and candidates how important young voters will be during this year’s general election. A report published earlier this year by Demos concluded that the youth vote could swing the 2015 general election, with 3 million young people yet to decide who they will vote for, and that up to 75% would vote (in contrast to 43% at the 2010 election).
BYC has been urging all the parties to engage the youth vote, and the League of Young Voters was set up by BYC to address the shortfall in registration which we identified last year. BYC is a partner of the Electoral Commission and has been raising awareness about the issue since our last Annual Council Meeting in September 2014 when we adopted Voter Registration as a priority campaign.
BYC has already called for parties to introduce online Youth Manifestos, and for the next Government to appoint a dedicated Youth Minister. Later this month BYC will be revealing its general election manifesto calling for all candidates and parties for a response to young voters concerns and demands. The general election manifesto follows a vote by BYC members which prioritised the key issues of the young people they represent.
Ife Grillo, Vice Chair for Campaigns & Communications and Member of Youth Parliament for Hackney, said: “UK Youth Parliament and British Youth Council back National Voter Registration Day on 5th February. We are and will campaign for you to register and vote and to challenge politicians to give us something to vote for! I say – you have a right to vote – use it don’t lose it. We call on all young people who will be 18 on 7th May to register. Many of us can’t vote (16&17) and we need you to represent youth issues for us too. Calling Ed, Dave, Nick, Nat and Nige – what’s our vote for? OUT OUT OUT – Get the Youth Vote OUT, OUT OUT – OUT, Make the Youth Vote Count!! Talk to us – not about us. It’s great to see a growing coverage by the media of young voter’s views – and voter opinion polls, but we would welcome more opportunities for representative groups and campaigners like The British Youth Council and its members being interviewed to reveal young people’s priorities.”
For more information or to speak to our media spokespeople please contact the press office.
How can I get involved?
- Limted time? Watch and share the #TakePower video
- Run a session on ‘The Basics’ – the power of participation, the importance of challenging common misconceptions and the fact that if you don’t get involved, you’re easier to let down.
- Run your own registration rally – create your own rally making voter registration and engagement easy for everyone.