From this June onwards, Durham students will be able to automatically register to vote as they enrol or re-enrol online. As a result of conversations your Students’ Union Officers started a few years ago, Durham, working with the County Council, will become one of the first Universities in the country to support Automatic Voter Registration, making participation in local and national elections easier and more accessible to thousands of students.
It’s so important that we register to vote. Moving frequently, living at two addresses, and the general business of day-to-day life mean that students are much more likely than other groups to be missing from the electoral register. Many of us won’t know we aren’t registered until it’s too late. This new process ensures that you have a choice come polling day.
It’s also crucial that the people who represent us in parliament know students are part of their electorate. Our local and national representatives should care about what students think – so the more of us register, the more power we have collectively.
It’s great that the University is taking this step forward, and working with local bodies to strengthen students’ voice in local and national government.