A generation of Welsh students are at risk of losing their right to vote in what could be the most important National Assembly for Wales election for young people yet.
Introduction of the individual electoral registration will have a disproportionate impact on students due to moving addresses frequently, uncertainty as to whether they should register at home or at university and because they often live in houses of multiple occupancy.
Registering is vital so that students and young people can fully participate in the democratic process on the 5th May and get their voice heard on issues ranging from housing, social services, health services and transport. According to the British Election Study (BES), nearly 60 per cent of young people, aged 18-24, turned out to vote for the 2015 General Election. In this study, young women aged between 18 and 24 within this demographic were the least likely to vote.
Commenting on the importance of registering Beth Button, NUS Wales President, stated;
“By registering to vote, students are sending a message to those in power that their voice deserves to be heard. NUS Wales recognizes that students are directly affected by a wide range of political issues, from housing to transport, but do not feel they have a voice on these issues. Registering to vote is a vital step towards breaking the barriers between students and their ability to change their lives for the better”
The NUS has launched a general election hub for students to register to vote, with information to help them decide whether to register at their home or university address.