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Photography Elliott Stallion

Young people: register to vote today

Be quick: the deadline to register to vote in local elections is 11:59pm on April 16, 2024

It’s a tough time to be a young person in the UK: the cost of living is spiralling, house prices and rents are skyrocketing, and many of our public services seem to be crumbling before our eyes. It can often be difficult to know what to do in the face of such uncertainty and turmoil, but the good news is that there are ways you can make your voice heard. You can write to your MP, join an activist group, take to the streets and protest, and, most importantly, you can vote.

At present, however, more than a third of people aged 18 to 34 are not registered to vote. The 2019 General Election saw a turnout of around 47 per cent among voters aged 18 to 24, meaning that over half of young people did not vote. By contrast, an average of 80 per cent of pensioners voted in the elections between 2015 and 2019.

This is why Upvote are calling on you not to waste your voice and register to vote today.

The government does not want LGBTQ+ community, people of colour, ethnic minorities and other marginalised groups to vote. Remember how they changed the law to require that people bring photo ID to polling stations to vote? LGBTQ+ people are three times more likely than the general population not to possess any photo ID that could be used to vote, while people of colour are five times more likely. In addition, nearly a quarter of trans people and nearly one in five non-binary people do not own usable photo ID. Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg even admitted that the change constituted gerrymandering last spring. 

This is why it’s so important that young people refuse to be silenced and make their voices heard through voting. Register to vote hereall you need is your National Insurance Number. You’ll need to register to participate in local elections in May, and be quick: the deadline to register is 11:59pm on 16 April 2024.

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