Students urged to ‘Bite the Ballot’

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Election ballot box

Election ballot box

Liverpool universities are backing a campaign that aims to encourage young people to register to vote.’Bite the Ballot’, a non-profit organisation, has introduced the UK’s first ever national voter registration day which took place on Wednesday.

All three of the city’s universities are supporting the initiative, which aims to help 16-24 year olds, the most under-represented group on the electoral register, a voice in the political process.

Ben Ramsdale, the Liverpool Hope SU 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.”

The organisation is not affiliated to any political party, saying it simply wants to help give under 25s the information they need to vote.

Mike Sani, co-founder of ‘Bite the Ballot’ explained: “When politicians think about writing policies, they write policies for the people on the electoral register and those who vote. And who do they see when they look at the electoral register? Not young people. Only about half of young people are registered, whereas ninety-six per cent of older people are.

“There’s a reason the winter fuel allowance, free bus passes, free eye tests and free prescriptions aren’t taken away – politicians fear being punished at the ballot box.”

Students’ unions and schools around the country took part in Voter Registration Day on Wednesday. The 5th February marks the anniversary of the Great Reform Act in 1832, which introduced the first ever voter registration.

About Lisa Kerr, JMU Journalism