Youth Focus: North East, a charity set up to improve the lives of young people in North East England, is running a digital campaign to encourage the region’s youth to vote in the upcoming EU Referendum.
Young people working with the charity designed the campaign, which harnesses digital technology and social media, to engage 16-25 year olds with the EU debate.
An online voting tool called My Referendum was developed by the charity, allowing users to log in with a Facebook account. They could then vote on whether the UK should leave or remain part of The European Union and access information to help them decide how to vote in the actual referendum on June 23.
The charity has also used live streaming video technology to broadcast ‘Question Time’-style debates on the Referendum to young people watching on Facebook, and live Twitter walls where questions were tweeted direct to politicians and speakers taking part in events. A Thunderclap campaign was also used to amplify its message and harness the sharing power of social networks.
Jack Stoker, aged 20, from Sunderland, said: “There’s a strong chance that some young people will feel the EU referendum has nothing to do with them. We need our generation to recognise how important this vote is to all our futures. This campaign is about making sure young people from our region have their say.”
The Guardian reported that only 43% of registered voters aged 18-25 voted in last year’s General Election compared to 78% of over 65’s.
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