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Vote Or Watch Harry Potter? 5 Ways To Get Young Brits Engaged In Politics

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If politicians care about young people&;s votes, they should consider these ideas. BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘posted_date’, 1408031968); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_posted_time_3403612”).innerHTML = “posted on ” + UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(1408031968); });

If you were just about to walk down to your local polling station to vote and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came on TV, what would you do?

Journalist and presenter , best known for presenting , addressed the difficulty of getting young people to vote in a TED talk in parliament earlier this month, after he found that his girlfriend&8217;s sister chose Harry over during the local elections earlier this year.

Emer Kenny @MissEmerKenny

My 18 year old sister won&;t vote because Harry Potter is on the TV.

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In his talk, Edwards presented five smart ways to get young people voting in UK elections:

1. Online voting&;Voting should be online. It&8217;s crazy that in 2015 we&8217;re expecting young people to go and queue up to tick a box on a bit of paper behind a curtain in a village hall.&; To those who argue that voting online is susceptible to fraud, Edwards said: &8220;Really? You&8217;re happy to bank online, but not vote?&8221;

2. Compulsory voting for first-time voters&8220;This is about forming the voting habit early.&8221;

3. A &8220;none of the above&8221; tickbox option&8220;Not voting gets ignored. But a &;none of the above&8217; vote has to be counted and has to be taken notice of.&8221;

4. Voting advice applicationsThese are cards that spell out what the parties stand for. Voting advice applications are already commonplace across other countries in Europe. &8220;I often hear from young people that they don&8217;t vote because they can&8217;t differentiate between the main parties. What people need is a place to start, which is where voter advice applications come in and provide an entry point.&8221;

5. Better representation of young people in Edwards argues that we need more young people like Labour Haringey councillor Adam Jogee in politics.

You can watch him explain these ideas in more depth here:

Video available at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=nlYpMGI6iNQ.

youtube.com

Since the talk, young people across the country have been sharing the video and praising Edwards for understanding their frustration and feeling of disenfranchisement.

Tess @tessamacg

This is exactly what I&039;ve been rambling on about for the past few months PREACH https://t.co/vMTdSzVmfO

BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘tweet_posted_date’, ‘Sat Jul 19 20:38:19 +0000 2014’); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘utc_posted_date’, ‘Sat Jul 19 20:38:19 +0000 2014’); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (bfjs.isMobile() || !isIE8()) document.getElementById(“update_tweet_posted_time_3591505”).setAttribute(‘title’, ‘Time posted: ‘ + UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(‘Sat Jul 19 20:38:19 +0000 2014’, ‘UTC’) ); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_tweet_posted_time_3591505”).innerHTML = UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(‘Sat Jul 19 20:38:19 +0000 2014’, ‘tweet’); });

Nicola Sutton @NikkiSuttonUK

Just discovered this bloody amazing @rickedwards1 @TEDTalks, amen to all of that >>> https://t.co/ghAdQeICGs

BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘tweet_posted_date’, ‘Fri Aug 01 14:04:45 +0000 2014’); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘utc_posted_date’, ‘Fri Aug 01 14:04:45 +0000 2014’); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (bfjs.isMobile() || !isIE8()) document.getElementById(“update_tweet_posted_time_3591506”).setAttribute(‘title’, ‘Time posted: ‘ + UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(‘Fri Aug 01 14:04:45 +0000 2014’, ‘UTC’) ); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_tweet_posted_time_3591506”).innerHTML = UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(‘Fri Aug 01 14:04:45 +0000 2014’, ‘tweet’); });

John Jenkins @MinxOfficial

Rick Edwards for prime minister? https://t.co/hz1AHnfIbr

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Celebrities have also showed their support for his talk.

Tinchy Stryder @TinchyStryder

https://t.co/aQbEcrYtM5 < TEDx talk! Young people & voting. Check it out… Big up @rickedwards1 &;&;

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Ricky Gervais @rickygervais

Check out @rickedwards1 doing a @TEDx talk on getting young people to vote https://t.co/QD931PYx1a

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Edwards told BuzzFeed that he became &8220;passionate about tackling the insidious problem of ever-decreasing youth votership&8221; through his work on Free Speech, the youth-skewed BBC3 political debate show.

He realised that the most useful approach in his talk would be to offer practical solutions, &8220;rather than simply pontificate on the whys and hows and whats of the situation&8221;.

Edwards said the response to the talk has been overwhelmingly positive, and now his attention has turned to trying to implement some, or all, of his solutions.

He added: &8220;I&8217;ve been thrilled that so many different young people and organisations and charities have got in touch to let me know that they are already doing lots to deal with this pressing issue.&8221;

Edwards also aims to persuade MPs to support his campaign ideas, and says he&8217;s &8220;convinced that the simple act of backing online voting would in itself be a vote-winner amongst the young&8221;. He&8217;s also designing a prototype of a voting advice application that he&8217;s hoping to get high-profile support for.

He noted that some of his ideas will be more difficult to implement than others, specifically the &8220;None of the Above&8221; option. &8220;The electoral reform side of things is, unsurprisingly, a more difficult proposition. The crushing AV referendum defeat in 2011 means that another, similar vote in the near future is pretty unlikely. But nevertheless, I intend to sit down with the Electoral Commission and get their views.&8221;

So what is Edwards&8217; message to young people? &8220;There is a lot to do, so if anyone wants to help – feel free! Get in touch with me at @rickedwards1. And get involved with SwingtheVote, a campaign that I&8217;ve been working on with youth charity vInspired.&8221;

Here are some organisations and projects working on the issue: vInspired, Bite the Ballot, Voting Counts,

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/rossalynwarren/vote-or-watch-harry-potter-on-tv-ways-to-get-british-to-vo

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