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Thursday, 10 July 2014

Youth voting

https://www.facebook.com/IvoteNZ
Voter turnout is going to be critical in this election. I wrote to the Upper Hutt Leader this week taking issue with a letter by E Keats from last week. They expressed a view on youth being obsessed with iPhones, tablets and computer games, rather than political participation - such as voting in elections.

Yet these things all provide the secret to increasing political participation. It's pleasing to see the Electoral Commission is targeting spending on digital initiatives to engage younger voters - such as Facebook, using the well known Orange Guy character. Then there's text reminders that will be sent out on 20 September to remind mainly younger citizens to get out and vote.

There's also the option of advanced voting for those who are unable to vote on 20 September. Advanced voting opens two weeks before the big day - it means that younger New Zealanders who are busy looking after children or other activities have the flexibility they need to exercise their democratic right. It's my hope as a Gen Y candidate that these initiatives will have a real impact on voting at this election.