Talking To Youth Rotating Header Image

March 10th, 2010:

Translating internet activism to the ballot box

With general election expectation mounting, I am intrigued about the people voting for the first time, those in the 18-24 demographic. Many of this group will have recently left secondary education where Citizenship is taught and given growing importance, and some may still attend a youth club.

Most people are aware that the numbers of those voting in elections has been declining and as a democracy this is something that should concern us. The turnout in 2001 was the lowest since the post war election in 1918, with only 59% of those registered voting compared to 76% in 1979. More alarming still, just 46% of young women aged 18-24 cast their vote. Trends show that people under 34 years of age are less likely to vote than older people and there is real concern that lack of engagement with the political process will spread progressively through the electorate as this group ages.