How do students vote in elections and are they encouraged to vote?

THIS year’s local elections take place on May 6 2021. How will student votes effect the council and are students encouraged to vote?

Image: someone submitting their voting ballot

WE often hear that young people are ‘too political’. But what is student voting actually like?

Peter Hayes, an expert in politics at University of Sunderland, has said: “I think there has been some signs of student activism, although through the lockdown, it has made it very difficult.

“If once students are back, they not only vote, but also start to take an active interest in politics. Then we could see an active return to university campuses, and indeed governments being forced to engage seriously with student led demands.

“This happened in the 1960s and early 1970s when there were comparatively less students at university. Now that approximately half of all young people attend university, the political potential of students is much greater.”

Georgios Chnarakis, President of Education at the University of Sunderland, said: “We believe students who have the right to vote should register and vote. Voting gives students the power to decide how the city is run.

“The people students help to elect, will be making decisions on issues that we all care about, including NHS, Housing, Education and the Environment. Politicians may sometimes consider voter turnout before making key policy decisions.

“If a certain demographic turnout is high then politicians may be more likely to make a policy that benefits that demographic in order to please them and subsequently win their votes or retain their support.”

Getting students to vote is incredibly important, here is how the University of Sunderland promotes registering to vote to their students: “The University actively promotes the elections. The lecturers inform students in class about their right to vote and the importance of doing so. Also, the e:vision platform asks students to register themselves for the elections with their local Councils.”

In Britain, there is something called ‘student seats.’ This is calculated by how high of a student population a city has. The statistics are unable to explain whether student votes have swayed the election results because all votes are anonymous. But ‘student seats’ are evidently calculated by how many students are in an area.

Are you a student who is planning on voting in the upcoming local elections? Let us know on Twitter @SRNewsNow.

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