Advocates encouraging young people to vote

TIME TO VOTE: Electoral Commission youth advocates working in Gisborne to encourage younger people to enrol and vote in September’s general election are (from left) Mikayla Irwin, Shartina Broughton, Cheanne Johnson, Jama Rangikotua and (standing) Amohia Kerekere. Picture supplied

A TEAM of youth advocates will work in the Gisborne area to encourage more young people to enrol and vote in this year’s general election.

The East Coast and Ikaroa-Rawhiti electorates have some of the lowest turnout figures among young voters in the country.

The youth advocate programme was piloted by the Electoral Commission during the Northland by-election in 2015 and, with support from Te Puni Kokiri, has been extended for this year’s election to Northland, South Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua and Gisborne.

The Electoral Commission team of five youth advocates and one co-ordinator will attend community events and
venues in Gisborne where young people gather.

“Young voters often need advice on how to go about enrolling and voting, and they would rather hear it from someone their own age,” said registrar of electors Sue Braybrook.

“The youth advocates are a positive group of young people and they are keen to get started and talking to their peers,” Ms Braybrook said.

Participation rates in elections have been falling over the past three decades and enrolment and turnout rates are lowest for young people.

“The earlier young people start to vote, the more likely they are to be voters for life, so let’s all encourage them to take the plunge,” Ms Braybrook said.

The advocates will receive training, support and supervision from youth programme co-ordinators and the registrar of electors.

Election day is September 23.

A TEAM of youth advocates will work in the Gisborne area to encourage more young people to enrol and vote in this year’s general election.

The East Coast and Ikaroa-Rawhiti electorates have some of the lowest turnout figures among young voters in the country.

The youth advocate programme was piloted by the Electoral Commission during the Northland by-election in 2015 and, with support from Te Puni Kokiri, has been extended for this year’s election to Northland, South Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua and Gisborne.

The Electoral Commission team of five youth advocates and one co-ordinator will attend community events and
venues in Gisborne where young people gather.

“Young voters often need advice on how to go about enrolling and voting, and they would rather hear it from someone their own age,” said registrar of electors Sue Braybrook.

“The youth advocates are a positive group of young people and they are keen to get started and talking to their peers,” Ms Braybrook said.

Participation rates in elections have been falling over the past three decades and enrolment and turnout rates are lowest for young people.

“The earlier young people start to vote, the more likely they are to be voters for life, so let’s all encourage them to take the plunge,” Ms Braybrook said.

The advocates will receive training, support and supervision from youth programme co-ordinators and the registrar of electors.

Election day is September 23.

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