Democracy event stresses importance of voting

Published on 25/04/2019 by nmoo

Hundreds of young people on The Fylde Coast are being offered the opportunity to learn about the importance of voting during an event organised jointly between Blackpool and The Fylde College (B&FC) and Blackpool Council.

The ‘Democracy Event’, which takes place this week across B&FC campuses, is particularly targeted at students who are about to reach the age at which they can vote or who have recently done so.

It includes a training programme that students can access on-line which outlines the history of government in Britain, including an explanation of the country’s voting system and a timeline of voting linked to gender, class and age.

Mock-up polling stations have also been set up across B&FC campuses and students will be able to record their vote in a booth, just like in a normal election. They will also be able to vote on the real issue of whether the voting age should be lowered to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in all elections, a topic that should be of keen interest to the 2,000 plus full time students under 18 studying at B&FC.

During the polling station activity students will be able to take part in a survey on the ‘Same Pay, Same Day’ campaign being supported by Headstart, the Lottery funded programme supporting young people in Blackpool. This aims to raise awareness and prompt discussion on the national and living minimum wage.

Sue Crosbie, manager of the B&FC employability team says: “As young people reach the age at which they can vote it’s really important that they both understand how vital voting is to our democratic system and what the process involves, from registering to vote to putting a cross in their chosen box during a real election.

Although most young people are increasingly politically aware and many are active in politics, that’s at odds with the generally low turnout amongst younger voters when an election, or public vote event, takes place”.

“This democracy event, which is being run with a high level of support from the Electoral Services team at Blackpool Council, aims to inform young people about how important it is for them to be involved in our democratic process and how easy it is to do so.”