The ‘Bite the Ballot’ campaign, with whom many ALDC members will already be familiar, have asked us to help spread the word about their upcoming conference. We asked them to pen a few words on the organisation and the conference itself, which we hope you will find of interest:
“Bite the Ballot is a party-neutral, not-for-profit organisation that empowers young people to speak up and act, to make their votes and opinions count.
We inspire young people to be counted and make informed decisions at the ballot box, encouraging them to take power and become the champions that will change the face of British politics. Our core values when engaging those furthest away from politics are to be unconventional, inclusive and bold. Three words you may not associate with today’s politics.
Throughout the past four years we have been working to directly engage with young people locally, educating them on our democratic system and ensuring that issues that young people care about are at the forefront of political concern. The team’s most-recently celebrated accomplishments include:
- Launching, creating and coordinating the UK’s first National Voter Registration Day (NVRD – 5 February), adding (up to) 52,000 people to the Electoral Register.
- Organising the ‘Join The Vote’ campaign in partnership with 38 Degrees and in collaboration with a host of other civil society organisations.
- The Voter Registration Bill, introduced to the House of Lords in June 2014, will empower Electoral Registration Officers to take steps to increase the low numbers of young, disabled or ethnic minority voters on the register.
With the 2015 General Election fast approaching we believe that the most effective way to ensure a turnaround in youth engagement levels is through collaboration with local government.
The “Educate, Engage and Empower: attracting, inspiring and registering young voters” conference, will bring together those with the skills, resources and know-how. The day will be tailored to give each local authority in attendance the opportunity to discuss a targeted and personal strategy on how Bite The Ballot, other specialist organisations and local government staff may work together in engaging young citizens.
Given the low forecast participation rates of young people in the democratic process generally, it has never been more pertinent for local government staff to work with, and alongside, civil society organisations on this key issue of young people’s registration. As you may are aware, 16- to 24-year-olds are the largest under-represented group on the electoral register and it is often assumed that they are one of the hardest demographics to reach and enthuse about voter registration. Bite The Ballot has demonstrated that this does not have to be the case and we are keen to support Local Authorities in the challenge of ensuring that the electoral register is as complete and as accurate as possible.
The “Educate, Engage and Empower” conference will be held on Monday 15 September 2014 at the offices of Hogan Lovells International LLP (Holborn Circus).
More information can be found at: www.bitetheballot.co.uk/september-conference.”