Sheffield College students have had the chance to take part in a mock election proposing to lower the voting age to 16.
Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh and The Sheffield College Students’ Union organised the event at City campus on Granville Road on Friday, November 24th.
College students took part in a trial vote where they could answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to lowering the voting age to 16 by placing a sticker on a board. The total number of votes for the motion was 32, and the number against was 11. Students were also asked to add their details to the electoral register so they can vote in the next general election, as part of a broader voting registration campaign.
Amy Smith, President, The Sheffield College Students’ Union, said: “We regularly hold mock elections on a range of different issues, and this event reflected the current debate about whether to lower the voting age to 16. It’s also a great way to attract attention to the importance of registering to vote so that students ensure their voices are heard.”
Louise Haigh, Sheffield Heeley MP, commented: “Getting young voters registered is a key part of making sure they can stand up for their rights, and that’s why I was so pleased to be able to join my team and Sheffield College staff to help register young people. It follows other campaigning we’ve done at the College including Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise, who are campaigning for a true Living Wage in Sheffield. It’s important that young people have their voices heard in elections. We found a lot of enthusiasm from students who hadn’t previously registered to vote as well as a lot of support for votes at 16.”
Angela Foulkes, Principal and Acting Chief Executive, The Sheffield College, added: “It is important that our students are aware of their democratic rights, and understand their part in that process. We want to ensure they have their say by registering to vote ahead of the next election.”
To find out more about full-time courses starting in September 2018 and the next College open day on January 23rd, visit http://www.sheffcol.ac.uk/ or call 0114 2602600.