Sheffield Hallam MP Olivia Blake has called on the government to extend the student registration deadline for postal votes, following the recent announcement that students will not be allowed to return to their addresses session until May 17 at the earliest, 11 days after the local elections.
The proposed date matches step 3 of the government’s roadmap plan and aims to limit the potential public health risks associated with student populations moving across the country.
With only a day before the deadline to register for a postal vote, Blake fears it will leave students in Sheffield and across the country excluded from the May 6 election, saying there is a ‘serious chance ” that this will happen.
Olivia Blake, Member of Parliament for Sheffield Hallam, said: “I know this last year has been really tough for so many young people in Hallam and across the country – students stuck in residences without access to proper food or supplies. essential, to the huge increase in youth employment that we have seen across the city.
“It is essential that these young people make their voices heard on May 6, so that they can participate in the vital conversation about how our country can recover from the pandemic – whether it is fighting the emergency. climate, create opportunities for young people, or invest in our mental health services.
“But unless the government steps in immediately to extend the deadline and help register every young person for a postal vote, there is a good chance that thousands of young people will be excluded from this important election.”
With less than half of 18-25 year olds voting in the 2019 general election, youth turnout is already expected to be historically low in the May election amid the pandemic.
In Yorkshire and Humber now, only 9% of young people have registered for a postal vote, compared to 29% of those over 65.
Blake asked the Secretary of State for Education a question to ask what the government’s plans are to help register all students for mail-in votes in their internship accommodation.
The Hallam MP also asked the department what the scientific basis was for the decision to allow students to return to their internship accommodation on May 17 rather than before that date.
Nationally, Labor Party warns government inaction on postal voting threatens UK democracy and public health and calls on councils to receive dedicated government support for voter registration efforts by correspondence before the deadline for registering to vote by correspondence in England on April 20.
Many young people are also unlikely to be vaccinated on election day, as those aged 18 and over in England will not be vaccinated until July.
To vote in the May 6 local elections, people must be registered to vote by April 19.
For more information on voting, you can visit the Sheffield City Council website via www.sheffield.gov.uk.
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This notice was published: 2021-04-18 21:22:20