Huppert quizzes Government on student vote under new rules

DSC04537.JPGMP Julian Huppert has quizzed the government on what measures it has taken to make sure students can go to the polls.

He is concerned that many students, particularly first-year undergraduates will not get on the register because they don’t realise they have to personally add their own names. 

In the past, the names of students have been added en bloc by the universities where they are studying; but the rules have changed this year.

 Julian has been urging students to make sure they register and recently attended the Anglia Ruskin Freshers Fair to make sure first-year undergraduates and others were aware of the new rules.

 Education Minister, Sam Gyimah said that the government made £500,000 available to the National Union of Students to run a programme to register students to vote. 

“Ensuring that everyone who is eligible to vote is on the register and can exercise that right has been a priority for the Government throughout the transition to IER (Individual Electoral Registration),” he said. 

“We are also working with universities so that they can provide data to local authorities, which can then chase up students not on the register to get them on the register.” 

Julian said later: “It is so important that we give students a chance to play their part in the electoral system and have their say on who runs our country. But many may not realise until polling day that they are not on the register and cannot cast their votes. 

“Most first-year undergraduates are away from home, many for the first time, and they have a lot of changes to cope with at the same time as trying to settle into their courses. Remembering to add their names to the electoral register is probably not on most of their minds, and for some it could be too late as they are turned away from the polling station because they are not registered.”   

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