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Don’t forget to register to vote!

Don’t forget to register to vote!

On 5th May 2016, you will have the opportunity to vote in the National Assembly for Wales election. The Assembly represents anyone living in Wales and can make decisions and laws in areas such as education, health services, housing, and sport. As a student you live in Wales for at least 9 months of the year, which means laws made by the Assembly will have a big impact on you.

There are a series of events taking place across the Students’ Union encouraging students to register to vote. This includes free dodgem rides taking place in the Main Building car park today.

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 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.

Beth Button, NUS Wales President said by registering to vote “students are sending a message to those in power that their voice deserves to heard.”
“Registering to vote is a vital step towards breaking the barriers between students and their ability to change their lives for the better.”

Students can register to vote at www.gov.uk/registertovote.

In the coming weeks, Xpress will be providing full coverage of the Welsh Assembly elections, with a live six-way debate between Cardiff Central candidates on the 25th April, coverage of results and a leaders’ debate in early April organised by the Students’ Union. For the latest, head to our dedicated Welsh Assembly elections page.

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Kieran Lewis

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