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September 18, 2017 | by  | in VUWSA |
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Presidential Address

During our visits to the halls last week, I was stoked to hear so many young students were enrolled and planning on voting. And for most, it wasn’t out of a sense of begrudging obligation, but a sense of excitement about having the opportunity to vote for the first time.

Maybe I’m just in a bubble (an orange morph-suit bubble), but it really feels like this election there is more interest from students and conviction that voting is worthwhile and important.

The constant stream of people lining up at the voting booth in the Hub last week shows that there is real hope for us to turn the low youth voter turnout statistics around.

We don’t have stats on the numbers of people who have voted so far on campus, but across the country the advanced voting statistics are looking very positive. On the first day of voting alone there was a 300% increase compared to the same day in 2014, which shows that the increased number of advanced booths are making a difference.

The main question that came up in conversation when I was visiting the halls was who to vote for. With the whirlwind that this election has been, it’s impossible for even the most obsessed POLS student to keep up with all the promises and bottom lines that have been thrown out there. Every time I go on Facebook there seems to be another party going “live” with an announcement or a few million for this, that, or the other.

Don’t be put off. The online policy tools are a great place to start as a first-time voter wanting to get a grip on the parties — check out onthefence.co.nz and Vote Compass.

As one final thought before you go to the polls, there is a message I’ve heard a few times that has stood out to me this election and that is worth remembering: if you are doing okay, cast your vote for those who aren’t.

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