Wales 2016 – Register and vote in the Assembly election on 5 May
The National Assembly for Wales will join forces with the Electoral Commission, NUS and NUS Cymru, Youth Cymru and Bite the Ballot for a special event on Friday 5 February to promote the National Voter Registration Drive (NVRD).
150 people will be at the Senedd finding out how to register to vote and what their vote means ahead of the Assembly election on 5 May.
On the day there will be:
- A huge inflatable ballot box outside the Senedd
- A 'registration station' for people wanting to register to vote
- A projection on to the Senedd from Bite the Ballot
- Workshops with groups informing them about how the Assembly affects their lives and how they can get involved.
The event also kick-starts the Assembly's Wales 2016 campaign to promote useful information and resources about the forthcoming election.
"Encouraging more people to vote has been a key part of my role as Presiding Officer through campaigns like Women in Public Life, and tackling the democratic deficit," said Dame Rosemary Butler AM, Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales.
"In 2011, fewer than half of eligible voters in Wales turned out on election day, yet when I tell people that around £16 billion is spent on things like health and education, they quickly take an interest in how that money should be spent.
"Devolution in Wales is moving into a new era with more powers set to lie here and more decisions made in Wales, for Wales.
"So it is critical that people understand how the decisions made at the Senedd by their elected Assembly Members affect them every day."
Rhydian Thomas, Head of Electoral Commission, Wales said:
"We are excited to be supporting this event for National Voter Registration Drive. It's a fantastic opportunity to spread the message that young people, students, renters and home-movers are still much less likely to be registered to vote.
"NVRD exists because it's important that anyone who's eligible, but has not yet registered, does so. It's easy and quick to do online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote."
"The Electoral Commission is running a voter information workshop at this event and also bringing along a giant inflatable Ballot Box! Joint activities like this, alongside the our own public awareness campaign, which kicks off in March, are invaluable as a way to encourage voter registration."
Beth Button, President NUS Wales:
"National Voter Registration Drive highlights the opportunities for students and young people to become a key part of our democratic process.
"It is incredibly important that young people make sure their voices are heard by registering to vote and electing our next Assembly."
Lizzy Fauvel, NVRD lead from Youth Cymru said:
"Some believe that young people are apathetic about politics and that's just not the case.
"Young people need to be educated and shown how much their vote actually counts, along with the power they have if they unite.
"Young people are the future and need to be seen as a resource not a problem. The NVRD will help young people to engage and understand politics in a fun interactive way!"
Throughout the week of NVRD, and as part of the National Assembly's continuing commitment to engage with new audiences, its education, youth engagement and outreach teams will be holding sessions with groups all over Wales, including:
Monday 1 February
- Year 13 pupils – Ysgol Maesydder, Ystradgynlais
Wednesday 3 February
- Cardiff People First – Canton House
- Ethnic Youth Support Team (EYST) in Swansea.
- Year 13 pupils – Sir Thomas Picton School, Haverfordwest
Thursday 4 February
- Age Cymru Gwent – Robins Volunteer Service – St Woolos Hospital, Newport.
- Coleg Gwent, Cross Keys
- Year 9 - Kings Monkton School, Cardiff
Friday 5 February –
- Citizens Advice Bureau – Anglesey