General Election: Make your vote count

Close up photo taken just behind Avram, he has an example of a voting paper in bright yellow with some large print markers on it which show him where to mark the cross on the piece of paper to mark his vote.

Today, 8 June 2017, students at RNC (Royal National College for the Blind) are joining the rest of the country in casting their votes in the UK general election.
Historically, statistics have shown that ‘the majority of 18-24 year olds don’t vote.’ However, it has been reported that in the run up to this year’s general election – over a million young people registered to vote in the month since the election was called.

 

Libby Hudson, Teacher in charge of Academic Studies at RNC, says “The issue with trying to get young people to vote is sometimes down to the fact that they think politics is boring and don’t always understand the impact it has on their lives. Young people don’t always realise it can make a difference and don’t think about the implications of what might happen based on the vote.”

 

Along with other teaching and support staff at RNC, Libby has been encouraging students to exercise their democratic vote and to ensure that their voice is heard. Since the election was announced in April, we have held a series of election events including a visit from Electoral Services at Herefordshire Council, setting up a mock polling booth to support first time voters and show them examples of how voting works using large print, colour contrast and braille aids. We have also set up a series of election help desks and hosted political debates where students have been able to discuss their opinions.

 

Rachel Beaumont, Head of the EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) Steering Group at RNC says “Some of our students are very politically aware and it’s great to see how passionate they are about the subject; they’ve been having some really lively debates! For those who are undecided, we have been encouraging our students to do their own research, taking polls online etc. to see which political party suits their views best. The main thing we want to do is to ensure our students vote and get their voices heard.”

 

Today, our residential and support staff will be on call to accompany students to the ballot box to help ensure that they make their mark and make their vote count.

 

To find out more about RNC, please call our student enquiries line on 01432 376 621 or email info@rnc.ac.uk

Article written by Bik Lee, Digital Media Officer Bik Lee