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Kids Voting breaks records

8 August 2016


Kids Voting breaks records

Record-breaking numbers of Auckland’s future voters will be learning about local democracy and voting this election time.

A total of 11,500 students from 56 schools have signed up to take part in Auckland Council’s Kids Voting 2016. This compares to 8,316 students from 44 schools in 2013.

The programme is designed for students aged 11 to 15 (years 7 to 10).

“We’re really pleased that so many schools and students will take part in Kids Voting this election. The increase in participation is a positive sign for the future, and builds on the success of the project, which has run in Auckland since 2001,” says Marguerite Delbet, Manager Democracy Services at Auckland Council.

Kids Voting gives young Aucklanders a chance to gain knowledge of local government, how it works in Auckland and why voting is so important. It can be adapted to suit the age and stage of learners.

Classroom activities kick off in mid-August to capture the pre-election build-up. Students spend several weeks learning about local issues and candidates, and cast online votes in mock classroom elections on 23 September. The results will be announced at the same time as the final election result, on 13 October.

Kids Voting is one of the ways the council hopes to support participation, stimulating awareness and discussion among students’ families and friends about the importance of voting.

“Enrolment and voting is a habit which needs to be formed young and if it is not, non-participation is likely to continue through a person’s life,” Ms Delbet says.

“Increasing voter turnout is a challenge that many countries are trying to address. It’s not a problem that any one agency or group can solve - it's a complex, long-term issue requiring a concerted and sustained effort from many parts of society.”

“When young Aucklanders turn 18 and become eligible to vote, we want to help provide them with the tools they need to become active participants in Auckland’s decision-making, and helping to make Auckland a great place to live.”

Auckland local elections run from 16 September to midday 8 October. To find out if you are enrolled, go to www.elections.org.nz.

ENDS

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