03/06/2016 12:15 BST | Updated 04/06/2017 06:12 BST


young voter

The EU referendum is fast approaching. In three weeks' time millions of us will be heading to the polls to decide whether the UK should remain or leave.

However, we know that despite the voter registration deadline being 7 June, millions of people (at least 7.5million) will not be able to take part in this once-in- a-generation decision on 23 June. This is because they are not registered. Most of these people fall into the category of the young, private renters and people from BME backgrounds.

This is one of the reasons that Bite The Ballot and Hope Not Hate have joined forces to coordinate a national voter registration and engagement campaign called #TurnUp. The aim of this campaign is to register 500,000 people in one week and inspire them to #TurnUp on 23 June.

We already know that my generation is least likely to be registered to vote, to say they are interested in politics or vote in an election. This is why we are reaching young people where they are online and on-the- ground. We are delighted to be working with a whole host of partners in this campaign, such as Tinder, Deliveroo, Twitter, Uber, UK Youth, Unilad, Tech City UK, Starbucks, The LAD Bible and many others to get young people registered to vote ahead of the EU Referendum. Together we want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to vote in the Referendum.

Both the 'in' and 'out' campaigns are clearly struggling to engage with young people like me and neither campaign are doing themselves any justice. In my opinion, not many of the arguments made by those who want to remain or leave have really hit home. Both campaigns are just trying to scare us to vote one way or the other. They are both guilty of playing fear-mongering politics and are simply just telling us why we should not vote for the other side, as opposed to why we should vote for them.

How on earth do we expect to engage young people in the referendum if we continue like this? Many of my mates and the young people I have met since the referendum was announced, still feel so disconnected from it all.

Most of the arguments I hear are just economical. Yet how many young people (even adults) understand all this talk about trade and economics? Outside of this, both sides have been telling too many porkie pies (I know this is nothing new from politicians) and the result is that we are all confused. Both sides have been gassing about why we should be 'in or out' but a lot of their arguments are based on speculation. It is really hard to understand what is fact or fiction and true or false in this referendum. I am someone who is more engaged than most and yet I am struggling with it all.

Our message for this campaign is simple: young people can decide the future of this country, if they register to vote before June 7th and #TurnUp to vote on June 23rd.This debate and decision isn't solely for the male, pale and stale. This is a referendum where every voter and every vote counts.

If you have not already registered, then click this link here and do it now:

HuffPost UK Young Voices is running a fortnight-long focus on the EU Referendum, examining what is at stake for Britain's young people on 23 June and why it's imperative you register to vote and have your say. If you want to have your say and blog on our platform around this topic, email Register to vote here.