The betrayal of young voters is a disaster for democracy

Register to vote: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote


Brent Scrutiny Task group report on IER: http://brent.gov.uk/media/11163926/261114-Promoting-electoral-registration-report.pdf

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New data published by Labour reveals a dramatic rise in the number of young people losing their democratic rights. From March to May 2015, the number of 16 to 18 year-olds being added to the electoral register will be down by over 100,000 compared to 2014.

It is likely to mean that less than half of those young people eligible to vote for the first time at the General Election will be registered.

This is not just a scandal, it is a disaster for our democracy.

This General Election will have huge consequences for the young. The result will affect education and training at schools, colleges and universities. It will have an impact on the quantity and quality of jobs available afterwards. It will affect the rent paid for a first home and the chances of buying one.

Yet it is precisely these young voices which are being silenced. They have not stopped paying the price for this government, but they are losing the chance to make this government pay the price for letting down their generation.

And that is a direct consequence of the Government’s decision not to require electoral safeguards and to ignore warnings over their hasty introduction of individual registration.

Background

Labour will begin to put right what this government has done wrong. Our measures will include:

A legal obligation on schools and colleges to give details of students approaching voting age to electoral registration officers

Encouraging universities to register as a block students living in halls of residence

Trial election-day registration

Widening the franchise so that 16-18 year olds, like those who voted on Scotland’s future last autumn, will be given a say in all UK elections.

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