Electoral Register: Young People

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 10th March 2017.

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Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement, Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to encourage people aged 16 or 17 to register to vote.

Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Cabinet Office)

The Government is committed to maximising electoral registration, helping to ensure every voice matters in a democracy that works for everyone. Online registration has made registration easier, simpler and faster and it is more in tune with the digital lives many people now lead – particularly young people. Since the introduction of Individual Electoral Registration, there have been over 1.3 million applications to register to vote made by people aged 16 and 17, with over half of the applications made online.

As part of my 'Every Voice Matters' tour, I have met with a number of sixth form students across the country to hear – first hand – about the barriers they face to engaging in the democratic process. This insight is helping inform a wider democratic engagement strategy, which the Government will publish later in 2017.

The Autumn 2015 Spending Review announced over £1 billion to expand National Citizen Service (NCS) over the next 4 years, meaning that by 2021, NCS will cover 60% of all 16 year olds and it is being expanded to include democratic engagement.

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