For the first time ever 16 and 17 year olds will be able to vote in the Senedd elections next year.
To mark this historic occasion we asked Wrexham’s Senedd Yr Ifanc if they would like to nominate a young person to speak on their behalf and encourage young people to get registered to vote.
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We weren’t disappointed and we’re now pleased to introduce you to Katie Hill, she’s going to be championing registering to vote among young people over the coming months and here’s what she thinks of the opportunity now given to 16 and 17 year olds across Wales.
“I’m Katie, I’m 15 years old and I am the Member of UK Youth Parliament for Wrexham 2020-22. This basically means I represent the views and opinions of Wrexham’s Young People, and so when the Senedd yr Ifanc, Wrexham’s Youth Parliament, had the opportunity to get involved in campaigning to encourage 16 and 17 year olds in Wrexham to vote in the 2021 Welsh election, I knew I just had to get involved!
“Many of you may be wondering why a 15 year old is encouraging young people to vote in the next election, I mean I can’t even vote yet myself and yet I’m telling others to vote! Well the reason I’m doing this is because I am extremely passionate about young people using their voices.
“Whether campaigning on a local issue, protesting for justice or voting in elections, I believe that every person should advocate on issues they are passionate about so that their voices can be heard. Under Article 12 of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of a Child, young people have the right to be listened to by decision makers, and so I feel it is important for 16 and 17 year olds to have the vote and to exercise that vote.
“Even though I cannot vote in this election, as I will not be 16, I still feel privileged to be able to campaign on this issue and I hope many young people from Wrexham do use their voices and vote in the 2021 Welsh election.”
We’d like to thank Katie for the time she has put into this already and we know she’ll be committed to encouraging young people to register and ultimately vote next year.
If you’re over the age of 14 you should be on the electoral role – your parents can do this for you but please remind them to do it as it will be a big change for them.
Once that’s done you can register to vote at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
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