Government Invests £500k To Encourage Students To Register To Vote

The government has invested £530,000 to encourage students to register to vote after tens of thousands disappeared from the electoral register following changes to voter registration.

The investment aims to maximise the number of young people signing up to vote, with the National Union of Students (NUS) receiving £380,000 to promote the campaign.

The NUS will run a national competition for student unions to help find the best ideas for getting young people to register and fund campaigns to encourage voting and provide students with the information they need to register.

The campaign will involve the nation's 600 student unions and the best idea will receive £10,000 to fund other events and projects.

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Further projects which will receive funding are the Sixth Form Colleges Association, the campaign group Active Citizens FE and the National Association of Managers of Student Services. These services will be speaking directly to young people in schools and further education colleges.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "This year will be the first time many students get to vote in a general election. Like going to university, it’s a vital rite of passage that I believe everyone should be proud to be part of.

"It only takes a few minutes with our new online system, and I am delighted that the NUS and other student organisations will be working with us to make sure everyone has the opportunity to get on the register and take part."

The government funding comes as part of a £10m total to boost voter registration across the UK amongst groups who have lower electoral registration rates than the rest of the population.

However, it was recently revealed that nearly one million people have fallen of Britain's electoral register according to research by the Labour Party and the campaign group Hope Not Hate.

More than 80% of local authorities suffered a decline in voter registration with some universities seeing nearly a 90% drop in registered students.

Speaking to HuffPost UK earlier this month chief executive of Hope Not Hate Nick Lowes said, "The drop off is concentrated in many of the key seats what will determine the outcome of the election. That's a national scandal - and we need to do something."