Register to Vote!

Rhydian Morris

This year sees two important elections for the future of Wales. In May anyone residing in Wales, will be able to vote for their representative at the national assembly. Students who are currently attending welsh universities and are registered will also be able to vote. The second major election takes place in June where the United Kingdom will vote in a historic referendum on whether to leave or remain a member of the European Union. If you want to have any say in the future of the UK or Wales, as a student, you must register to vote by the end of March. Due to changes to how registering to vote works, almost half of all 16-24 year olds are not currently eligible to vote in any election. To vote in an election or referendum you must be enrolled on the local electoral roll. If you are a student in that age bracket you are likely part of the 800,000 people that have fallen off the electoral roll since last year. The thing is there is absolutely no reason to be denied your right to vote. Registration is incredibly simple, takes five minutes, and all you need is your basic details of who you are, where you live, and your national insurance number

17,000 students at Swansea is a massive voting bloc, if everyone’s votes it can make a massive difference to any outcome in the election. Don’t be the guy standing at the side lines moaning nothing’s changing while not taking the opportunity to make a significant change. On Monday 29th February Swansea University Student’s union launched their first event in encouraging students to vote. The union worked to raise awareness and attempted to provide students with information on how to register and why it was important.

Free candyfloss and popcorn were provided to students at both the Singleton and bay Campuses. Teams of volunteers over the coming month will descend on campus accommodation in Hendrefoelan, Singleton and the Bay. Students will be given the chance to register on the day, or provided with information on how to register. The union had this to say about voter registration “There are 17,000 students at Swansea University, if each student voted then the student voice becomes incredibly powerful. The only way to stand up and make a change is to register and vote for change. Last year at the General election, the Swansea Gower seat was won by the Conservative party by a marginal 27 votes… every vote matters, especially yours!’

“But I can’t vote I’m not a Home student” That’s not entirely true. If you are an EU or Commonwealth citizen can register to vote.

For a list of who can vote here – I live in halls so the university registers me No, that was the case under the previous system. The new system requires for every individual to register themselves to vote. If you have never taken the time to register, you will not be on the electoral roll. I have to register at home and I live somewhere else during term time. You are able to register to vote at both your home and your term address. Though you will only be able to vote in one place. You will have to decide where you would like to vote.

For help on deciding visit the General Election Hub here – My vote makes no difference In terms of these elections that is entirely untrue. Voters in wales elect both constituency and regional Am’s, so any vote to a party will translate regionally. In terms of the referendum, every vote matters in deciding the outcome of whether Britain leaves or stays a member of the EU.

It is also useful to note that the conservative party only won Gower with a 27 vote majority. The margins are so tight that every vote in Swansea absolutely does matter.


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