Katie and Scarlet

In Wales, young people aged 16 and 17 will be able to vote in local elections for the first time on May 5, 2022.

This year’s local elections will mark the first time many in Wrexham have voted, so we spoke to a few young people in Ty Pawb to find out more about how they feel about voting.

Katie and Scarlett are both 16-year-olds from Wrexham, and this will be the first time they are able to cast their vote.

WCBC: “Katie, let’s start with you. Last year you were the Senedd yr Ifanc’s voting ambassador so clearly feel very strongly about voting, can you tell us why its so important to you?”

Katie: “Simply put, if I don’t vote then the decisions made about me and my life are completely out of my control – I won’t have any say over it – but by voting, I get to be in control and choose who can make decisions for me.”

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Scarlett: “In Wales we are fortunate. At 16 we can make many life shaping decisions; now voting is one of these. Voting gives us the opportunity to actively participate in politics and engage with choices that will impact our local communities. Everyone should have the opportunity to be listened to by decision makers and champion issues they are passionate about.”

WCBC: “Scarlett, you mention a link between voting and championing issues important to you, how do you think they are connected?”

Scarlett: “Learning about how and why to vote is essential in building our political understanding and encouraging individuals to formulate their own beliefs.”

WCBC: “Do you both feel like your vote will have an impact on your community?”

Katie: “Most people will answer this question with ‘my vote doesn’t count for anything’ and while it may seem like it has little value as a single vote, if every single person held that view, very few people would vote and decisions could be made on a handful of votes, and they have in the past. I strongly believe that my vote will have an impact on my community in some shape or form, because at the end of the day, a councillor will be chosen for my ward and I will be part of that decision.”

Katie: “I truly believe it will have an impact. As this is a democratic vote, each vote counts. One vote could make the difference between one party and another. Thus each individual vote could be the deciding factor in the election, which will have a knock on impact on the candidate elected and policies implemented.”

When you vote for the first time, there are probably lots of things that you don’t know so keep an eye on our blog for further information about how to vote at the polling station.

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