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Kids Voting 2014 - Back And Bigger than Ever

Kids Voting 2014 - Back And Bigger than Ever

More students than ever before will be taking part in the Electoral Commission’s Kids Voting 2014 programme, and it’s not too late for schools to join in the biggest Kids Voting programme yet.

Nearly 50,000 schoolchildren from over 300 schools around the country are already registered, and will be getting first-hand experience of what it’s like to vote in a general election.

“Kids Voting is a programme for young New Zealanders that encourages them to learn about and experience an authentic election,” says Robert Peden, Chief Electoral Officer. “The programme is supported by specialist curriculum-based resources that bring democracy to life, and we are thrilled that more students than ever before will be participating.”

“It gives students the chance to take part in an election with real parties, real candidates, and real issues, and will help them grow up to become the active, engaged citizens we all want them to be.”

Kids Voting is designed to raise awareness among young people about New Zealand's electoral processes. Students vote for parties and candidates contesting the 2014 general election, and can compare the results of their classrooms' election with the real results.

“Educating the next generation of voters is critical,” says Mr Peden. “We need them to know that they have a voice, they can have a say in the decisions that affect them, and give them the opportunity to see how it works – before they turn 18.”

In New Zealand, as in most developed democracies, voter turnout is falling and levels of political engagement are low among young people. The aim of the Kids Voting programme is to build first-hand experience of en election by young people to increase their confidence in the electoral process.

“Kids Voting is fun, it's free and it gives students a real experience of taking part in the democratic process,” says Mr Peden. “And it’s not too late to sign up – schools can register until August 8 at www.kidsvoting.co.nz


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