Dartford Borough Council is taking part in ‘Welcome to Your Vote Week’ to encourage young people to learn more about how democracy works, how they can register to vote, and about upcoming elections.
Beginning on Monday 29 January, this year’s theme is ‘Your Voice Matters’, celebrating the impact everyone can make through the democratic system on issues important to them.
Across the UK, schools, colleges and youth groups will be running activities to encourage young people to get involved and use their voice, by holding votes, registration drives and assemblies on the importance of engaging in democracy.
The Electoral Commission works to support schools and teachers by providing the resources they need to teach young people about elections and voting. The education work aims to address low levels of registration among young people, giving them the confidence, they need to participate in elections and democracy.
Electoral Participation Officer at Dartford Borough Council, Maximus Clinch, said:
“Young people play an important role within their communities in Dartford. However, where they are less likely to register and vote, engaging young people to use their voices and ensure they are informed enough to have their say, is vital.”
Craig Westwood, Director of Communications, Policy and Research at the Electoral Commission, said:
“Democratic education helps to deepen young people’s understanding of and confidence in elections. The Electoral Commission is working not only to help young people understand the process, but also that politics and democracy impacts everything around them.
“Welcome to Your Vote Week’ was created to help address lower levels of registration, and help young people engage in democracy not just for a week, but all year round.”
To coincide with the initiative, the Electoral Commission has produced a set of educational resources for anyone who wants to start a conversation at their school or youth group about democracy, voting and elections. The resources are designed to help improve the political literacy of young people in the UK. Educators and students who want to take part in ‘Welcome to your vote’ week can access the free resources from the Electoral Commission website at https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/welcome-your-vote.
The educational tools are designed for use in both full lessons and shorter sessions, such as school assemblies and youth groups. The resources include animated videos, lesson plans, assembly plans, short activities and interactive quizzes, and each is tailored to the differing curriculums and contexts across the UK.