Ahead of the referendum at the end of this month, it is important that as many people as possible register to vote. Failure to register means that they will be unable to have their say on whether or not our country remains in the EU. For obvious reasons, authorities have tried to keep the registration process as simple as possible so not to cause any discouragement to those that are registering. However, it seems that the process is still a little too much trouble, meaning some people are giving up before they have even registered.
The problem lies amongst the younger end of the voting public, the 18-24 year old’s, and is effecting thousands. The process asks for essential information from the registrar, including a National Insurance number, something that Bite the Ballot, a group that encourages young people to engage in politics, says is stopping people from registering. They claim that with the majority of registration being done on mobile phones, when a National Insurance number is requested on the sign up form people give up because they either do not have their card to hand or have lost it and simply don’t know it. The request turns a quick and simple sign up into a nightmare of digging deep in search of details you probably lost years ago, and as a result the number of people registering is quickly wavering, and not as high as we would like it to be. Bite the Ballot have said that the situation is inconveniencing so many, that they received a promising 3,800 clicks to their website to register, but only 10 actually completed the entire process. Authorities have always stressed the importance of young people registering and voting as they are the ones that are going to live through whatever effects the result has on the country. Leaving or staying in the EU is a major decision for great Britain and it would be a shame for young people to miss out because they have failed to register.
With all of the relevant details to hand, registering yourself on your smartphone to vote in the referendum takes just 4 minutes. It is important to note that your National insurance number appears more regularly than you might think, and can even be found on your pay slip, so you do not need to read it off your card that may have become buried under your bed with a few old socks from 2014. Bite the ballot is determined to have 500,000 young voters (18-24) registered by June 7th, which is the deadline to register,and has targeted their young audience with collaborations with Uber and regularly used dating app Tinder. Despite National Insurance blunders (this issue cannot be changed as these details are needed to identify each person) Bite the ballot has seen significantly more support from the Government in their voting campaign this year, in comparison to last year’s campaign ahead of the general election, and as a result have seen around 80, 000 young persons registering. As the deadline for midnight on the 7th June looms, will people manage to complete the form?