A Derry community worker has urged people to engage in the Electoral Office’s ongoing voter recruitment campaign.
Kathleen Bradley of Dove House said: “It is important to engage in the process of voting, even if you don’t support any of the candidates.
“We have to say to government ‘yes we support you’ or ‘no, you are failing me.’ People think if I don’t vote, it doesn’t matter but it really, really does. Spoiling the vote sends a clearer message than not voting.”
An Electoral Commission spokesperson said: “The current campaign is in three phases, issuing of forms, secondly canvassers will visit homes which didn’t return a form, and thirdly the chief electoral officer will write to those who were on the last register but not on the new one.”
Kathleen Bradley of Dove House urged everyone to register, “especially those who have used our advice services. We are in a time of recession, whenthe cost of necessities are constantly rising.
“The political arena is where we address these concerns. Wages are the one thing that are not going to rise. Politicians raised the minimum wage by a mere 4p. That is just one aspect of how your vote can really impact people’s lives.
“Unemployment in Derry is at 10%; if everyone in the dole queue voted we might get politicians to do something. The LGBT comunity need to register to vote to voice their opinion on adoption and gay marraige.
“This is how we communicate directly with government. I often hear how ‘politics and politicans are useless’ but that is not a debate. There are too many people disengaged and removed from the process of democracy.”
Ms. Bradley concluded adding: “If no-one floats your boat, it’s time to spoil your vote.”
To register visit www.aboutmyvote.co.uk or by call 0800 4320 712.