Mobile voting booth will make it easy for Ghent teenagers to vote

Image: Gent.be

In a time where cities need to be acutely aware of the need to involve young people, one Belgian municipality is making it a little easier for them to have their say.

A mobile voting booth in the city of Ghent has been introduced – and it means the city’s newest voters will have little excuse for not voting in the forthcoming European elections.

To help ensure that the latest generation of 16 and 17-year-olds get involved, a special booth will be taken to school and other community locations around Ghent, a city renowned for its commitment to children’s rights and which hosted the 2016 Child in the City Conference.

Campaign and videos are also being produced in the run-up to the elections, and these will also be screened in the booth, providing information and answers to questions that young people might have about how their vote can potentially influence future planning policies.

‘Their vote counts just as much’

Isabelle Heyndrickx, Council Alderman for Civil Affairs, said: “During the last days before the elections, we work together with the Youth Council and ‘It’s up to you! to inform all 16 and 17-year-old Ghent residents who will be voting for the first time this year. Because even if they do this for the first time, their vote counts just as much.”

Hafsa El-Bazioui, Alderman for Youth, said: “With European Youth Capital we involve young people in realising the city of the future, and at European level they can help decide on the future of Europe in the voting booth. A great year for our young people, in which they will have opportunities to make themselves heard at all policy levels.”

City leaders are also reaching out to young people through a concerted social media campaign, as well as writing personally to each young registered voter with an explanation of how voting will work on 9 June.

Author: Simon Weedy

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