Youth organisations and teachers wanted to support our education work in Wales
Approximately 50% of eligible newly enfranchised 16-17 year olds registered to vote in May’s Senedd election. Below, two young voters share their experience of voting for the first time.
“I voted for the first time this year! Going to vote was an easy and exciting experience to have. I voted in person in my local town hall in the morning before school. When arriving I signed in at the reception desk and they explained what I had to do. I then went into a booth and put crosses in the boxes I wanted. Following this, I posted my papers in the ballot box and left. This process was a lot easier then I expected and it was exciting to follow the results!"
“I was surprised at how quick and easy it was to register to vote as I am dyslexic and usually find it hard to fill out forms by myself. My friends also registered to vote this year and felt their experience was similar to mine. Me and my friends had many conversations about who we were going to vote for and the reasons behind those decisions. The information available on voting varied because I felt like I had enough information on how to register, but found that some of the political parties hadn’t made information available in a format that I could understand. The Raise Your Voice project made some information very accessible, but was lacking some party information due to parties not providing manifestos in an easy to read format.
On the day of voting, I was very excited to be able to vote for the first time. My political passions were lit up and I was ready to explore more ways that I could make my voice heard. I found that my voting experience went well but when talking to other young people they had difficulties in voting due to factors such as their polling station being too far away and needing to travel.”
Whilst many newly enfranchised voters in Wales were able to register and vote in this election, our post-poll research suggests some new voters found taking part more difficult than returning voters. We believe there is further education and engagement work to be done to support new voters to effectively understand and participate in Welsh elections.
Last year we published a new set of online resources to educate young people about the democratic process, including those who were voting for the first time at the Senedd elections, and to prepare educators to teach political literacy with confidence. We were pleased to gain support for the resources from many partner organisations and projects across Wales, such as the Democracy Box and Raise Your Voice.
To support more new voters across Wales get involved in Welsh democracy, we plan to extend the reach and impact of our education programme ahead of the Welsh local government elections in 2022 and Senedd election in 2026. We want to build on the work already achieved by engaging further with partner organisations, young people and educators across Wales to identify more themes and topics our resources can address.
We are currently looking for teachers that can support us with this work. Find out more here: