Social media initiative empowers young changemakers
The Hansard Society predicts that youth turnout may be as low as 12% in the next UK general election. Young people aged 18–25 are the least represented group on the electoral register, with only 44% registered to vote, compared to 94% of the over-65s.
Young people don’t vote because they struggle to see the relevance. A study from Nottingham University revealed that only 12% of young people feel their voices are being heard in society. This has serious implications for the country, as politicians get into a vicious circle of pursuing policies that favour older voters, and leave young ones out of the system, alienating them further.
Mike Sani was among the millions of young people who didn’t vote. Aged 27, and teaching Business Studies at a comprehensive school in Dartford, he didn’t think the elections were relevant to him. Luckily, Sani’s boss at the time – another teacher – made him see the light, explaining that everything he did that day, from driving to work to going to a nightclub, is influenced by policy.
Sani started a lunchtime club for students to debate politics, which soon turned into the Bite The Ballot initiative to get young people registered to vote. Using social media networks that young people use every day, Sani teamed up with Tinder, Uber and Deliveroo to get the message across. “We bring politics to where people are. We teamed up with Tinder, Uber and Deliveroo to drop a little bit of politics in there, with online games and messages like ‘your food is on its way, why not register to vote?’” he says.
Bite The Ballot inspired 1.1 million young people to register to vote during the EU referendum, after just one week of co-ordinated action. Follow @BiteTheBallot on Twitter to get involved.
Image courtesy of Bite The Ballot
Last updated: 30th of August, 2016