Johnson’s latest move may deny thousands of people the chance to vote. Act now.

Sign outside a polling station
Fréa Lockley

The current chaos in UK politics means a general election may be called any day. But as Boris Johnson pushes the country to the brink, his timing may also deny thousands of people the chance to vote. We need to act now.

Deadline!

On 3 September, parliament defeated Johnson’s right-wing government. In response, he’s likely to call on parliament to vote for a snap general election. Although, at this stage, Labour plans to resist this until parliament can block a no-deal Brexit. But it’s looking increasingly likely that there’s a general election imminent.

If Johnson pushes ahead with an election on or around 14 October, people must register to vote 12 working days beforehand. This could mean by midnight on 26 September. The latest date to register for a postal vote would be 5pm on 27 September.

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As many people pointed out, it’s never been more important to make sure that everyone is able to vote.

Although numbers registering to vote keep rising, it’s vital that we keep sharing this information. Also, young people’s votes in particular really count:

Sting

But the timing of Johnson’s latest move also has an added sting. Because thousands of students across the UK are set to head to university over the next month, they’ll need to make sure they’re registered at the correct address or for a proxy vote. This is the first time most of these young people will have been eligible to vote in a general election. And many may not realise the urgency.

Journalist Paul Mason stressed how important this is;

Others, meanwhile, worried that lack of information may deny thousands of people the chance to vote:

But if people act in time, these votes could be strategically important. Students can register both at their home address and at university. So, as some people pointed out, this means that if either a student’s home or university address is in a marginal seat, their vote could mean even more:

The youth vote is vital to kick Johnson’s right-wing government out. In the 2017 general election, Labour saw its biggest vote share increase since 1945. One key factor was support for Corbyn-led policies from young people. Artists like Stormzy spoke out and connected to empower young voters. Some, like artist AJ Tracey who spoke out about homelessness, connected on key Labour policy issues. Grime MC JME met with Corbyn to explain “why bare of us don’t vote”.

This time around, the stakes are even higher. So it’s vital that we don’t let Johnson deny young people, or indeed anyone, the chance to vote. We need to get out there and make sure that no one loses the chance to vote him out.

Featured image via Fréa Lockley

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