[Press Release] Ticking the right boxes: Politics website getting young people election-ready.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ticking the right boxes: Politics website getting young people election-ready
- Election hub (votingcounts.org.uk/vote2021) created to provide need-to-know information on the many upcoming elections in May.
- Peer-reviewed content curated by young adults aiming to answer key election questions, and improve the turnout of 18-24 year olds.
- Founder suggests Covid-19 may boost engagement, as the public is more aware than ever of the impact political decisions at different levels of government have on our lives.
- 26th January marks 100 days until the elections.
25 January 2021
A new generation of voters is preparing to take part in their first elections, thanks to an innovative online resource. votingcounts.org.uk is a political information website run by and for young people across the UK, providing them with all the information they need to make informed choices when it comes to elections.
This year, in particular, the website is expecting its heaviest traffic yet, thanks to the various elections taking place throughout the UK: local council, police and crime commissioner and Metro Mayor elections in England; Scottish and Welsh Parliamentary elections; and the mayoral election in London. Young people from all over the UK are flocking to the #Vote2021 election hub on the site for the information they need when deciding how to cast their votes.
For many young people voting for the first time this year, the issue of COVID-19 has been a dominant factor in their political engagement, as it has touched everyone’s lives so deeply. Website founder Rachael Farrington, 24, believes voting has never been so important as a result.
“The pandemic has demonstrated the direct impact elected representatives have on our lives and the issues that matter to us,” she says.
Rachael has long seen the importance of young people getting involved in politics. She set up the site while still a sixth former in 2014, after hearing that some of her friends weren’t planning to vote as they didn’t feel informed enough.
“They had lots of questions about how elections actually impacted their lives, and who they should vote for,” she explains. “I wanted to create a resource that would help them learn about the importance of voting.”
The result was Voting Counts — a politically neutral, not-for-profit website that helps young voters come to their own conclusions about who they want to vote for. The site provides information about the different types of elections, the roles of politicians, and even how to register to vote, as well as explaining the party choices on offer and what they stand for. For a young person preparing to vote for the first time — and even for more seasoned voters wanting to equip themselves with more information — it is a valuable resource.
Since its inception seven years ago, Voting Counts has gone from strength to strength, with a team of volunteers — mainly sixth form and university students — contributing political information from every area of the UK. For Rachael, the project is now more important than ever, with this year’s elections sitting against a backdrop of some extremely emotive issues.
“This is our chance to ensure that those making the decisions are held to account and reflect the communities they serve,” she says.
If Rachael and the Voting Counts team have anything to do with it, our elected representatives will be held to account more effectively than ever before.
For more information on this story, or for interviews, please contact Rachael via firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editor:
- The election hub can be found at votingcounts.org.uk/vote2021
- 26th January 2021 marks 100 days until the elections.
- There are a number of elections due to take place on the 6th of May 2021 – Scottish Parliament, Welsh Parliament, English Local Councils, Police & Crime Commissioner, Mayors (Combined Authority and Single Authority), London Mayor and Assembly.
- Voting Counts was set up in 2014 by Rachael, who was studying for her A-levels.
- In 2019 over 100,000 users accessed the Voting Counts website and its resources.