Young people urged to Bite the Ballot

Liverpool schools, universities, community groups and businesses are being urged to support a campaign to get more young people to register to vote.

The UK’s first national voter registration day takes place on Wednesday 5 February, the anniversary of the Great Reform Act 1832 which first established voter registration.

It is being coordinated by Bite the Ballot, a not for profit organisation which is not affiliated to any political party but is aiming to “empower young people to speak up and act, to make their votes and opinions count.”

They are aiming to get a quarter of a million more people to register the vote on the day. The campaign is particularly aimed at young people as those aged under 24 are the least likely to register.

Councillor Steve Munby, Liverpool city council cabinet member, said: “We fully back this campaign and would encourage schools, community organisations and other groups to encourage all those eligible to register to vote.

“By registering generations of young people will have a say in decisions affecting their future.

“They will be able to participate in elections, whether it is local, European or the general election – if they do not do so they do not have a voice in the democratic process.”

Bite the Ballot is being supported by the students union at Hope University who will be asking students to register to vote on 5 February.

Ben Ramsdale, the students union president, said: “The vast majority of the older generation are registered to vote but, unfortunately, that is not the case for younger people. So it is not surprising that policies which hit younger people such as welfare benefits for the under -25s are being cut and tuition fees being increased are being adopted.
 
“If we want to affect change and protect our future – having jobs, getting a house  or protecting our pensions – then it is extremely important that we  register to vote so that our voices will be heard.   That is why we will be signing up as many people as possible to register on 5 February.”

Organisations who want to take part in the national voter registration day should sign up by visiting www.nvrd.co.uk/takepart

Further information about Bite the Ballot is available at http://bitetheballot.co.uk/