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News ->18-24 Year Olds don't bother to vote

(27 February 2006)

Some of those involved in the 1824 Collective CampaignLondon has the worst voter registration level in the country, and amongst 18-24 year olds, the problem is particularly bad. The 1824 Collective is a campaign to increase the number of people who are registered to vote ahead of the local elections in May. The 1824 Collective was launched today (Monday 27 February) by leading UK urban artist Estelle and MTV News presenter Tim Kash in Leicester Square.

The Mayor of London and the Department of Constitutional Affairs partnered together with Operation Black Vote, the Electoral Commission, the Association of London Government, and the Commission for Racial Equality to promote the message that people should get registered and get voting.

Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London said: ‘Shockingly, a quarter of 18 to 24 year olds are not registered to vote. It is not in any of our interests that our young people seem so disengaged in the political process. These are the future generation of leaders and decision makers and it is important that they feel that their opinions are being heard.

‘There are 5 million 18 to 24 year olds in the UK, which collectively is a powerful voice that should and needs to be recognised. Together their vote would have a huge impact on the way in which we are all governed, from Parliament and City Hall, to the Town Hall. I hope this campaign will encourage young people to use the ballot box. The message is get registered and get voting.’

Elections Minister Harriet Harman said:‘The campaign to encourage young Londoners to register to vote is vital for the health of our democracy. To have an equal democracy everyone must have their right to vote at election time.

‘It's great that so many young musicians have given their time freely to support the right to vote.

‘There is clearly a problem of our democracy excluding young people when we have 25 per cent of Londoners under the age of 24 not on the voters' register, compared to just two per cent of over-55 year olds nationally. And to compound this problem, under-24s are the least likely to vote. At the last General Election only 37 per cent of registered 18-24 year olds turned out to vote, compared to 75 per cent of those over 65. This cannot be allowed to continue. We must get more young people registered and voting.’

‘The 18-24 campaign, which talks to young people on their own terms using a variety of media, will help raise awareness and make an impact.’

The 1824 Collective is about young people realising their potential. By standing together and being willing to be counted, the UK’s 5 million 18 to 24 year olds have a powerful voice which society and politicians need to listen to. The collective is fronted by up and coming UK urban artists like Alex Holland, Anushka, Ash, Baby Chan, Baraka, Corrisse, Haze, J2K, JXXX, Lavish, L-Man and LST

Speaking about the campaign, Alex Holland, one of the 1824 Collective said: ‘We are a massive part of the electoral population. I strongly believe that if we stick together and have the confidence to stand up and be counted then we can seriously make a difference. I hope people will hear our message and have the wisdom to act upon it. People! A change is gonna come.’

For more information visit Voter registration forms need to be completed and returned by 13 March.


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