Higher Education (HE) and Voter Registration

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2018 Higher Education Service Group Conference
21 September 2017

Conference should note the significant role played by young people mobilising to vote in the last general election. UNISON activists in Higher Education played a role in this significant development by taking part in voter registration drives on their campuses around the country. Despite years of the assumption that apathy was endemic, the turnout of younger voters, many of them our students, was fantastic. However, it was still the age range with the lowest turnout and thus the most work still to be focussed on.

The Tory government have made it more likely for people to drop-off or never be on the electoral register by moving to individual voter registration. Further, the Tory Party shamefully did nothing to promote voter registration during the last general election.

This means there is useful work for us to do.

Conference calls on the Higher Education Service Group Executive to:

1)Encourage all Higher Education branches to build lasting voter registration campaigns and centrally promote voter registration at key times of year.

2)Lobby within UNISON structures for appropriate national and regional resources to be directed into voter registration drives, and recognise Higher Education branches as a key front line in this work.

3)Work with all other Higher Education unions and the National Union of Students to produce new graphics which include politically-engaged reasons to vote, though are mindful of rules on political funding, and are adaptable to be used online, as email signatures, as fliers and within newsletters.