National campaign encourages school students to join the electoral register
With reports that changes in voter registration rules have left 800,000 people disenfranchised, this week's national campaign for voter registration could hardly have been more timely.
National Voter Registration Drive is a week-long campaign to encourage young people to join the electoral register.
The organisers believe that, with voting an important part of our democracy, anyone who is not on the electoral register is automatically cut out of the democratic process. In other words, if they don't register, they have no say in how their society is run.
Under-18s cannot vote in most UK elections, but they can register to vote from the age of 16. However, changes in registration rules mean that it is now their own responsibility to register and no longer their head-of-household's.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, those rule changes have led to casualties. But, this week, the newspapers tell us that as many as 800,000 people have lost the right to vote as a result. That's more than three-quarters of a million potential voters that are no longer able to join in the democratic process.
And that's a concern for education, because the Government expects schools to promote 'British values' of democracy and law.
National Voter Registration Drive (#NVRD on social media) is a great opportunity to help young people make sure they are able to vote if and when they want to. In fact, the organisers provide The Basics, an interactive video, dripping with celebrities, to encourage them:
'All you need to do is dedicate 45 minutes to play The Basics and witness the change as students realise all the issues they care about are in fact political and make the informed decision to register to vote'.