Why it’s important to use your right to vote
Published on: 30 Jan 2014
SIXTH-FORM students from Downend School are being encouraged to have their say by registering to vote.
Chairman of South Gloucestershire Council, Cllr Ian Boulton, and officers from the council’s democratic services department visited students to explain the importance of voting and why people should vote.
They provided background information on how politics and decision making affect everyday life.
They also visited sixth-form students at John Cabot Academy in Kingswood and Castle School in Thornbury ahead of National Voter Registration Day on 5 February.
The presentations explained the various tiers of government - local, district, national and European. They looked 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 explored how these decisions may link in to local or national policies and politics.
Officers also held mock elections where they explained the count process and turnout and also looked at 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.”
Downend School student Beth 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!”