Gareth Hughes

Youth! Y U NO ENROL?

by Gareth Hughes

It is important young Kiwis are involved in the political process. They are the future and have a stake in our democracy. However, at the moment almost a third of 18–24-year-olds and a fifth of 25–29-year-olds are not enrolled to vote in the upcoming election! If you aren’t enrolled you can’t vote and have a say on November 26.

Youth Enrolment Nationally (as of 31 August 2011)

Age Est Eligible Population General Roll Maori Roll Total Enrolled Difference % Enrolled
18 – 24 438,300 279,224 35,285 314,509 123,791 71.76%
25 – 29 281,700 198,726 24,866 223,592 58,108 79.37%

(Numbers from the Electoral Commission website.)

It is also worrying that the trend for youth enrolment is heading steadily down.

Percentage of voting age population comparison as at 2002, 2005, 2008 and August 2011

Age 2002 2005 2008 Current
18 – 24 85.70% 81.56% 81.85% 71.76%
25 – 29 95.62% 96.47% 92.77% 79.37%

This trend is disturbing given that we can now enrol online – the way that most youth chose to interact and engage.

The Electoral Commission does do a fantastic job of ramping up enrolments before elections. However, it may be time that a dedicated amount was budgeted for youth focussed enrolment programs to be rolled out. This isn’t just about putting stalls up on university campuses, it’s about getting to the working youth and the young people who are out of work as well.

Regardless of how youth vote, we should be encouraging young Kiwis to vote and take part in the democratic process. It is after all, your future that people like me are deciding here in Parliament, it makes sense that youth should vote for the people and parties that they feel will have the best impact on their future.

So if you know anyone who isn’t enrolled to vote yet prod them until they get on the roll. You can direct them to the Electoral Commission website Enrol to Vote page or their Facebook page. If they’re really lazy you can print out this PDF and leave it conveniently placed somewhere where they may fill it out.

Also check out this PDF that breaks down the current rates of enrollment by region.

Published in Featured | Justice & Democracy by Gareth Hughes on Fri, September 16th, 2011   

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