In 2010 just 44% of people aged 18 to 24 voted in Britain’s general election, compared with 65% of people of all ages.
Young people have dropped off the electoral register in their masses – not by choice, but because the rules have changed. New rules mean parents can’t register their children to vote and universities and colleges can’t register students in halls of residence.
In just one year, over 200,000 young people have disappeared from the electoral register. And it is not just 18-year-olds, as the Electoral Commission says three in 10 people under 25 are missing from the electoral register and locally over 5000 people have deregistered from the electoral roll.
YMCA England is promoting several campaigns which are encouraging young people to register and vote in the upcoming elections. So what do you have to do to register to vote?
Registering to vote online:
Registering takes around 5 minutes. All you’ll need is your National Insurance number (if you have one).
If you do not have your National Insurance number – which can be found on a payslip, P60, tax return or benefits slip – you can either:
• Fill in form CA5403 and send it to the address on the form
• Phone the National Insurance numbers helpline (0300 200 3500) and answer some questions. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) won’t tell you your National Insurance number over the phone – they’ll post it to you.
• Alternatively you can click ‘I don’t know my national insurance number’, then click ‘I can’t provide a National Insurance number’ and type the reasons why you can’t into the text box. Your local authority will then contact you to help find your National Insurance number.
DEADLINE FOR REGISTERING YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE IS 20th APRIL 2015