Youth across New Zealand will experience a local council election first-hand as voters in the Youth Voting 2019 programme.
Supported by Local Government New Zealand as part of its Vote 2019 campaign for the October local elections, Youth Voting gives students aged 11 to 15 years the opportunity to engage with real issues, decide which candidates best represent their own views, and vote for real candidates in their region. Around 42 schools and 6,290 students registered three years ago.
LGNZ is now calling for further expressions of interest for Youth Voting 2019. A letter has been sent to all schools with students in years 7 to 10 inviting them to participate and already 57 have signed up.
Although the students' votes will not be officially counted, the experience of participating in a real election is a powerful way to instil an understanding of the value and importance of local government in New Zealand’s future voters.
LGNZ vice-president Stuart Crosby said Youth Voting aligns with LGNZ’s Vote 2019 campaign to lift nationwide voter turnout in local elections and increase people’s engagement with their local council.
“Youth Voting is an engaging teaching resource in political awareness, giving our future voters a real and meaningful experience of the value and importance of the democratic process. They get engaged with local issues, think about what matters and see how their power to vote can make a difference.”
“There is still plenty of time for schools to get involved and give the next generation the voting experience.”
Visit www.vote2019.co.nz/youth-voting to get the teaching resource and find more information on Youth Voting.