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September 25, 2016 | by  | in News |
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Young Voters: Waking the Sleeping Giants

Votelocal.nz has been launched with the hopes of engaging young voters in local body elections.

Visitors to the website are asked a variety of questions relating to their political views and are then given suggestions about which local candidate is most compatible for them.

The web tool was launched on September 5 and was accessed by 14,000 people during its first ten days.

Project Director Karl Kane believes “a lot of young people do not vote at local body elections because they don’t know how the council impacts on their lives, because they don’t know the people, and they don’t know it’s on.”

He referred to young people as “sleeping giants,” with regards to the impact they could have on elections.

The 2013 local body elections had an average national turnout of 37 per cent for voters aged 18 to 24. Overall, 41 per cent of enrolled voters took part.

Wellington mayoral candidate Helene Ritchie acknowledged the difficulty faced in getting the general population involved in the local elections, “not just young people, but people in general just don’t understand that this could be very meaningful in their lives.”

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