Thursday 25-02-2016 - 14:09
This is a guest blog by Bite The Ballot campaigns Manager Michael Abiodun Olatokun, who is working with NUS to empower students as part of the #GenerationVote campaign.
This year, the National Voter Registration Drive reached places that traditional electoral registration methods simply don’t reach. You saw it at your local Students’ Union as sabbs brandished yellow hands, beckoning you to register. The Senedd lit up with the NVRD logo, as Welsh community leaders within it developed plans to increase turnout ahead of the assembly elections. And most emphatically, we saw it online, as #generationvote gained thousands of Twitter impressions.
As we approach over 100 local elections, devolved contests and mayoral elections this May, we kept the ball rolling, and made even more noise about the importance of taking part than #NVRD 2015! Every major political party pledged support for the cause, and the world took notice of a younger generation taking power.
You were truly the change you wanted to see. Students and NUS officers from all over the country contributed to the campaign in innovative and fun ways, such as these voter registration stalls in UEL and Keele University, as well several digital calls to action. We followed your involvement on Twitter all through NVRD, but we would like to see your efforts up close and personal, and showcase your stories. Students' Union sabb teams, staff members and students that ran physical events during NVRD may be eligible to receive our level 1 Changemaker qualification, an officially accredited award from ASDAN. They also have the opportunity upon successfully receiving the award to present their work as a case study to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Democratic Participation that we run. All you need to do is head over to http://bitetheballot.co.uk/accreditation/ and fill out the evaluation form.
Though NVRD ‘16 is now wrapped up, there is more work still to do. In March, we will be running our democracy cafe series. We’ve also created a petition calling on Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Education, to make political education a part of secondary school education. Great work has been done so far, but there is still more potential to be realised in building #GenerationVote!"