NUS given £380,000 for voter registration drive
The National Union of Students (NUS) have received £380,000 of government funding to encourage students to register to vote.
The investment is part of a £10m project by the government to encourage voter registration amongst groups with low turnout in the run-up to the general election in May.
The NUS campaign has the backing of 600 Students’ Unions across the country, with NUS offering £10,000 to the Students’ Union which can come up with unique ways to get their students to register.
In a statement, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “This year will be the first time many students get to vote in a general election.
“Like going to university, it’s a vital rite of passage that I believe everyone should be proud to be a part of.”
The news comes after it was revealed that one million people have fallen off electoral register, according to research by the Labour Party and the campaign group Hope Not Hate.
Their research found that the majority of those affected were students, which they claim have been adversely affected by recent reforms to electoral registration.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has criticised the government’s decision to reform voter registration, suggesting it amounts to a plot to disenfranchise young people.
He said: “This is a direct consequence of the government’s decision to ignore warnings that rushing through new registration reforms would damage democracy.”
The changes mean that students living on campus are no longer automatically registered to vote in elections. The Students’ Union has been campaigning against the “wholesale disenfranchisement of students” through its ‘Your Voice, Your Choice’ movement. The deadline for voter registration is 20th April and can be done online at gov. uk/register-to-vote.