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2000 Cambridge Students Disappear from Electoral Register

It has emerged that there are just shy of 2,000 fewer people registered to vote in the upcoming election in Cambridge, many of whom are likely to be students.

Government changes to the electoral register have meant that universities and colleges can no longer block register students living in Halls of Residences to vote. This has meant huge reductions in the number of voters registered in areas with a high student population – including Cambridge.
Figures suggest that voter registration varies significantly between colleges, with some third years registered despite having left and many freshers not registered at all. This would mean that the figure of 1,937 fewer people on the electoral register is likely to be much higher. 

Some universities have nevertheless helped their students to register, such has Sheffield where the decline in the number registered voters is smaller than Cambridge. 

This fall could have important ramifications for the upcoming election, both in Cambridge and across the country. Daniel Zeichner, Labour’s candidate for Cambridge, said “I worry that students will arrive at polling stations in May only to be turned away. Throughout history, the right to vote is a principle people have fought and died for. If you are going to change the system, it is essential you give people every chance to take part.”

“The student vote is crucial to Cambridge; roughly half the electorate are likely to be students. Your vote really matters here and I would urge you to ensure your vote is registered. The government have doubly betrayed young people: first with tuition fees, and now by failing to explain the new registration system, denying students the right to express their feelings about this governments attitude towards young people. You have to wonder whether they are that bothered about young people voting.” 

To register to vote visit: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote You will need your National Insurance Number.

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