Aylesbury College students have taken part in a public awareness campaign to persuade young people to use their vote. The students appear in a video encouraging other young people to register to vote in time for the national and local elections on 7 May.
The short film features first time voters holding up large sheets of paper, with messages on the importance of voting. Only 44 per cent of 18-24’s nationally voted in the last general election in 2010 and this is the age group least likely to register to vote.
The video is part of a wide-ranging, non-political campaign launched by Aylesbury Vale District Council which aims to encourage residents to get involved in the democratic process. Alister Johnson, Aylesbury College Student President, who appears in the film, said: “I was happy to be a part of this short film and hope that it encourages young people across Aylesbury Vale to register to vote.”
Chris Sheard, Electoral Services Manager at AVDC, said: “Traditionally voter turnout amongst people aged 18 to 24 is low and we wanted to play our part in helping to address that. This video is a great way to raise awareness about how you register to vote and why it matters. By working with Aylesbury College I hope we will see a rise in the number of young people using their vote in the district.”
Matt Brown, Director of Marketing and Student Engagement at Aylesbury College, said: “We were delighted to work with Aylesbury Vale District Council on the production of this short film. Our students were keen to get involved and we hope this film will encourage more young voters in Aylesbury Vale.”
The council is reminding young people in the district that the way they register to vote has changed. Previously the ‘head of household’ registered everyone who lived at that address. Now individuals must register themselves. Sixteen and 17-year-olds can register themselves now so that they will be able to vote as soon as they turn 18. Students who are living away at university can also register at both their term time address and home address.
Young people are encouraged to register to vote, as it gives them the opportunity to have a say on important issues that affect them. Also, if your name is not on the register it may affect your credit rating and you could experience problems getting loans, finance agreements and mobile phone contracts.
The video is available on the AVDC YouTube channel at http://youtu.be/cU4vC1zy3ZQ
The deadline for registering to vote in the 7 May elections is 20 April. Anyone hoping to register to vote can do so online, as long as they have their national insurance number, via www.gov.uk/register-to-vote