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Unclear registration process, unenthused voters

Written by Comment

With a looming General Election on December 12th, the subject of Voter Registration has begun to creep back into the nation’s social consciousness. As consequence of this, the various problems within the registration process have returned to light.

The issue of clarity less so refers to the format of the government website used for Voter Registration – which is admittedly fairly straightforward provided one has access to their own basic personal details. Rather, the problem lies in the misunderstanding which clutters ‘the process’ in its more fundamental stages.

Youth turnout for Elections is notoriously low; Ipsos Mori estimated only 43% of 18-24 year olds voted in the 2015 Election compared with 78% of 65+ year olds. More recent YouGov figures approximate that 57% of 18 and 19 year olds voted in 2017’s, compared to 84% of those aged 75+.

Though evidently rising – there still seems a problem within the valuation of the vote in the younger demographic, which must, in part, arise from a lack of clarity surrounding the process; as there is a failure to understand why registration would be even ‘worth the hassle’.

The most common explanation is an apathetic one – that it will fail to make a difference to anyone’s day-to-day life regardless of whom is voted for. In order to tackle this in the least partisan, and perhaps most cynical manner possible, one must understand the perspective of the parties themselves.

The logic is simple. If there is shown to be a larger ‘youth vote’, both left and right leaning parties will make efforts to impose policies to win it over. The likely net benefit – even if one adds to the Voter Turnout statistics by spoiling their ballot in the most imaginative or crude manner possible – would therefore be undeniable.

However, the most prevalent issue within the registration process at present is the lack of belief, born largely from disillusionment, which prevents individuals from even engaging within it.

Last modified: 14th November 2019

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