Following the recent referendum in Ireland to repeal the eighth I have found myself intrigued with exit polls and statistics. Being a voter myself I pay a keen interest in which way the polls go. However, I am always intrigued by one number in particular. How many voters didn’t use their actual vote!
The Irish exit polls suggest that 30% of the people never attended the polls. Add to that the fact that the last UK referendum showed 27.8% of unused votes. I find myself wondering, why aren’t people exercising their rights?
Women had always fought for men, and for their children. Now they were ready to fight for their own human rights.” Emmeline Pankhurst
100 years ago men over the age of 21 and women over the age of 30 were given the ability to cast their vote under the Representation of the People Act.
However, women were only allowed to vote if they were married to house owners or owned their own property. Other reuirements were; occupiers of property with an annual rent of £5 and educated women from British universities.
Finally, in 1928 the same act was updated to represent equal rights for both men and women, giving all the right to vote if over the age of 21.
Today we use the Representation of the People Act.1969 which means that voters are 18 or over.
History has shown that people have fought for our right to vote and it disappoints me that even today, people still waste that right.
By voting, we add our voice to the chorus that forms opinions and the basis for actions. Jens Stoltenberg
Reasons people give when they don’t vote:
I don’t understand politics
Do you get angry when fuel costs go up? Hate the VAT on alcohol? Don’t agree with equal pay or how much you pay in tax?
Every one of these issues is influenced by politics. You don’t need to know everything about the politician, you just need to know how their policy will affect the things that matter to you most.
My vote won’t count
When the vote for Brexit was carried out it was 51.9% to leave but did you know that 27,8% of votes weren’t cast. Which means that nearly 28% of the population of the UK could’ve swung the vote in a different direction. And the truth is, it could’ve been YOUR vote that made a difference.
Not registered to vote
An article on Talk-Tax shows that 18-24-year-olds are finding it hard to register to vote. It’s an issue which is affecting thousands. The main issue for this group being that registration on a mobile phone is proving to be more in-depth than intended, thus putting potential voters off.
Registering to vote should take no more than 5 minutes and can be completed online
*Talk-Tax offers hard to reach HMRC telephone numbers and advice on all things HMRC!
Politicians don’t listen
Let’s be honest, they probably don’t. These Politicians have sat with focus groups. They’ve paid advisors to come up with their campaign slogans/promises. All whilst hoping they csn entice you to vote for them based on what they think your key issues are.
Rarely though are these promises followed through. And more often than not they get walked back shortly after the victory speech knowing they are safe for up to 5 years.
I don’t like polling stations, I feel pressured to vote quickly.
Are you someone who gets anxious when going to a polling station? Do you worry about filling in your voting slip wrong?
No one can rush you out of the polling station
Take as much time as you need completing your ballot
Still feel anxious, then why not register with your local council for a postal ballot.
Voting allows you the anonymity to complete your ballot and make a difference. YOU count YOUR opinion counts and the people who fought for you to have voters rights count.
USE YOUR VOTE AND MAKE IT MATTER!