Vote! Local Elections 2018
Voting is important. It is empowering. It is to be celebrated, particularly this year, as 2018 marks the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918. Prior to 1918, only men holding property of £10 or more were entitled to vote. As such, about 40% of men (and all women) were without suffrage. The 1918 act was an improvement, giving the right to vote to all men over 21 years of age, and to women over 30 with £5 of property (or those who were married to men with £5 of property).
Though women in 1918 did not yet share the same suffrage as men, the passing of the act meant that women made up 43% of the electorate, which had tripled in size itself. And if you think that’s exciting (and why wouldn’t you?) the later Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act of 1928 gave the vote to all women over 21 years of age, making men and women electorally equal and making women the majority of the electorate the following year.
A smart way to honour the centenary and the ninetieth anniversary of these suffrage acts is to put your vote into the ballot box on Thursday. If you’re registered and able to get out – please do.
Empowerment is a lot more fun than apathy! Even though voter turnout in the 2017 general election was the highest since the 2001 election, a large 31.3% of registered voters did not cast their vote. While there’s no guarantee that the end result would have been any different had the 31.3% engaged, it cannot be denied that the opportunity to use our voices and exercise our democratic right to vote is a privilege we should all respect and try to uphold. (Even if you feel the whole political system is flawed, you should still consider spoiling your ballot paper. They are still counted and are announced in the election results.)
If you’re not sure where to start, Your Vote Matters is a very helpful resource to tell you if elections will be taking place where you live, and who is standing for election – even the location of your nearest polling station!
Cast your vote, have your say, and take strength – may it only get better.
Image sourced via: Huffington Post