With the potential of a general election being called at any moment due to an uneasiness within government, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) said they have helped just under 7,000 students become eligible to vote within the last week.
This is yet another campaign led by the USI to add pressure to any future government to increase expenditure for student interests in party manifestos.
Last year, the all-Ireland student’s union aimed to get 10,000 new students on the Register of Electors before the recent general election and having surpassed that number in the campaign, the USI have decided to aim for 10,000 more in order to keep up the drive for enhancing the voter numbers of students, especially with the big question mark of student loans on the horizon.
USI President Annie Hoey wants to get rid of the sentiment that ‘my vote won’t make a difference’ within some students’ mentalities as the contrary is often the case.
She said, “It is always important for young people to register to vote and have their democratic say. Hopefully young people are going to be here for a little bit longer, it is their future that the decisions are being made during these general elections so they should be proactive about registering to vote and getting out and actually voting.
“I think we saw in the last general election that two or three votes did actually make a difference for the last seats so it is actually very important to go out and vote.”
Hoey says that the USI will be ready to adapt if an election is called suddenly and will help students to travel to Garda stations to register to vote, but with under 7,000 students already becoming eligible in this year’s campaign, she isn’t worried about reaching the goal of 10,000 this time around.
She said, “We did 10,198 or something in 24 hours the last time, this time, we’re doing it over a longer period.
“We’ve a little bit of time between now and the general election so we’re fairly on our way to get the extra 3,000 between now and whenever it is called.”