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September 25, 2011 | by  | in News |
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Young Voters Apath… Meh.

The number of young people enrolled to vote has dropped over 10 per cent since 2008, currently sitting at only 72 per cent.

This has caused concern for some politicians and has been highlighted by Green Party MP Gareth Hughes as a “worrying” trend.

“It is after all, your future that people like me are deciding here in Parliament, it makes sense that youth should vote for the people and parties that they feel will have the best impact on their future” he says.

A study released by the Electoral Commission on young non-voters identified five segments of non-voters based on their motivation, knowledge and attitudes.
These range from the “confident and convinced” segment, youth that have high motivation and knowledge about politics, through to the “politically absent” segment, young people who are on the opposite end of the spectrum with low motivation and knowledge.

Hughes calls for a dedicated amount of money from the Electoral Commission budgeted towards youth-focused enrolment programs.

“This isn’t just about putting stalls up on university campuses, it’s about getting to the working youth and the young people who are out of work as well.”

He urges people to encourage their friends to enrol by directing them to the Electoral Commission’s website, their Facebook page or printing out a form and getting them to fill it out.

For more information on how to participate in New Zealand’s democracy, go to elections.org.nz

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