With over a million young people recently registered to vote, the youth vote is pivotal for Labour. Across the country there are reports of young voters being denied a vote due to “registration errors.” The establishment is pulling out all the stops.
On the eve of the election, many people remain in a situation where they may be unable to vote.
This is happening in Wales, where according to the Independent (Eleanor Busby), “up to 200 students in Cardiff could be denied a vote”, citing “registration errors” as the reason. And in York, a number of young people have reported they may be unable to vote tomorrow due to… a “registration error”. This is despite the fact that these people claimed they had registered to vote before the deadline on Tuesday 26 November.
One individual reported that she was told that she may not be able to vote because her postcode had been incorrectly recorded by the council, meaning that her registration was not tethered to an address. Many people were unaware of this until 5pm on 10 December, two days before the election, when they received emails from the council. When they then tried to get in touch with the council, no one responded to their emails or calls until the next day.
Other young people from York who registered to vote have also not received their polling cards. This may not come as a surprise to many people, in light of the fact that local councils have had their funding and resources hideously slashed by Tory austerity.
Young voters being discriminated against in this way is nothing new under a Tory government. Earlier this year, during local elections in May, 819 people were turned away from polling stations and were unable to vote because of the government’s demand that people must now bring ID with them when voting. The consequences of this have seeped their way into this election, with a recent ComRes poll revealing that 32 percent of voters aged between 18 – 24 actually believe that they need ID to vote on the 12 of December.
This is the real measure of “democracy” under capitalism. When the establishment is threatened by young people looking for an alternative to austerity and exploitation, it will do whatever it can to deny them their rights.
Whatever happens on Thursday, it is certain that some young people will be unable to vote and if the Tory party manage to get a majority, they will no doubt carry out the promises they have made in their manifesto, to “get rid of the Fixed Term Parliament Act”, “support the First Past the Post system”, require mandatory “identification to vote”, and to “maintain the voting age at 18”. People do not trust Boris Johnson, but these policies are promises he will keep, because the Tories do not want young people to vote.
Not everyone who registered to vote tomorrow will be able to, but that is why the rest of us should make sure we get to the polling station, in a bid to kick out these parasitic capitalists and elect a Labour government on a socialist programme!