Dudley MP Ian Austin is encouraging young people in the area to register to vote ahead of this year’s Local and European Elections and next year’s General Election.
Austin has written to local schools encouraging them to take part in the UK’s first National Voter Registration Day on 5 February, which celebrates the anniversary of the Great Reform Act of 1832.
National Voter Registration Day will see businesses, community groups and schools registering thousands of eligible young voters, showing them how and why they should take part in the democratic process.
Just 44% of 18-24 year olds voted in the last General Election, compared to 76% of the over 65s. This low figure is partly caused by low levels of registration. Just 56% of young people were registered to vote in the last election.
Ian Austin said:
“With cuts to university funding and the Educational Maintenance Allowance, and important issues such as apprenticeships and youth unemployment high on the agenda, the next election will be crucial for young people.
“Young people have been dealt a bad hand by this Government. In order for future Governments to take their concerns seriously, they need to make their voices heard at the ballot box.
“Figures like Russell Brand calling for apathy are dead wrong. If you want to give politicians something to think about you have to vote.”