*UPDATE: The deadline to register to vote in the General Election is 11:59pm on Monday 22 May.*
You’ll be sick and tired of hearing this over the next few weeks, but…it’s SO important that you have your say in the General Election on Thursday 8 June.
And to do that, you need to register to vote – and that’s why here at De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU) we’re jumping on the National Union of Students (NUS)’ #GenerationVote campaign and holding a Race to Register right here at De Montfort University (DMU)!
Research has found that just 55% of 18 to 24-year-olds are registered to vote, compared to more than 90% of over 65s. This means that politicians feel able to ignore the opinions of young people and cut budgets for services that matter to them.
Students have the power to swing the vote in constituencies across the UK, but first you need to be registered to vote – and all you need is your National Insurance number.
Here’s a tip! You are also absolutely within your right to register to vote at both your home and term time address. However, this doesn’t mean that you can vote twice. Sorry!
You’ll have to decide where you would like to vote – but this does mean that you can choose where to cast your ballot.
Malia Bouattia, President of NUS, said: “There are millions of students in further and higher education in the UK. At our best we are a force to be reckoned with, and one that politicians cannot ignore.
“However, student voices are not always listened to. Since 2010 students have seen bursaries, grants and EMA cut, college funding slashed and tuition fees tripled.
“Following Brexit, there has been a toxic atmosphere of growing racism, followed by a sharp rise in hate crime. This has led to uncertainty and fear amongst our international students, who form an essential part of our vibrant campus communities.
“We must demand that student voices are heard. That’s why we need your help.
“Too many students are not registered to vote, [and] we need to ensure that as many students as possible exercise their democratic right.”
Dan Winney, President of DSU, said: “I believe it is of utmost importance that students register to vote for the upcoming General Election called by Theresa May.
“For many years, students have recorded a lower voter turnout than rest of the country and this has meant that our voices have not been heard. That is why DSU is launching this campaign to make sure that all DMU students are registered to vote on Thursday 8 June.
“I will be hosting a debate next Wednesday 3 May at the university’s ‘Be the Change’ event and in late May I hope to hold a Question Time-style event with local candidates so students know who they are voting for.”
Registering to vote is really quick and simple – you just need a few details, including your National Insurance number.