Young people encouraged to register to vote
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Chairman of South Gloucestershire Council Cllr Ian Boulton and democratic services officers have been visiting sixth form students to explain the importance of voting, why people should vote, and also provide background information on how politics and decision making affects everyday life.
They are visiting sixth form students at Downend School in Downend, John Cabot Academy in Kingswood and Castle School in Thornbury for a series of presentations and informal workshops. The visits started on 20 January and continue until 31 January, ahead of National Voter Registration Day on 5 February 2014.
The presentations will explain the various tiers of government – local, district, national and European. They will also look at the way decisions are made by the council on issues such as care for children and the elderly, planning applications, licensing applications for bars and clubs, decisions on transport networks, and explore how these decisions may link in to local or national policies and politics.
Following the presentations and discussions, the council’s democratic services officers will be conducting interactive group exercises with the students and will also be holding a mock election where they will explain the count process and turnout and also look at the various careers in election work.
Cllr Boulton said: “It is really important that young people register to vote as it enables them to have their say on important issues that affect many aspects of everyday life. Your vote is your chance to play a role in society. Some people are quick to complain when they disagree with politicians, but if you don’t register and don’t vote, you’ll miss out on your chance to influence change.”
Following a group exercise to illustrate the importance of registering to vote, Beth, one of the students at Downend School, said: “The fact that I couldn’t express my opinion as I hadn’t registered to vote made me want to go straight home and register, which is exactly what I am about to do!”
Any other schools in South Gloucestershire that are interested in taking part can contact democratic services on 01454 863030 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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