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New campaign launched to get young people voting

VOTING CAMPAIGN: Johnson Situ

THE SON of a much loved London mayor who died last year has set up a new campaign to encourage young people to vote.

Johnson Situ, whose father Peckham councillor Tayo Situ died from cancer last May, launched Urban Vote (UVote) on January 24. He is also planning to host an event at the O2 arena in Greenwich, London in April that will allow young people to meet and pose questions to representatives of the 2012 London mayoral candidates. London’s mayoral elections take place in May.

This is as an “entertaining way of engaging young people who are currently disconnected from politics,” South London based Situ said.

The 23-year-old told The Voice: “Looking at statistics we realize not enough people are registering to vote and we have to engage them in politics.

“Fifty per cent of young people aged 18 to 24 are registering to vote but this is compared to more than 95 percent of over 65-year-olds…and over 70 percent of 25 to 35-year-olds who are registered to vote.”

Electoral Commission data show more than 3.5 million young people are not registered.
The commission’s research, carried out last year, suggested 56 per cent of 17 to 24-year-olds were not registered to vote, nor were 31 per cent of voters from ethnic minorities.

“The key issue is that we want to get many young people registered to vote. The long term goal is for them to actually vote,” said Johnson, whose brother is south London councillor Michael Situ.

Situ, who headed University of Portsmouth’s African-Caribbean Society and is now head of communities in his local church, said: “Especially after the riots and everything that has happened we thought that we can’t be heard if we are not voting.”

www.u-vote.org

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