posted by Josh Lee

It’s on June 8th.

YouTube have launched a nationwide campaign to get people like YOU to the polls to vote in the UK’s general election this Thursday (June 8).

It’s really super important that you vote, k?

Whether you’re backing Labour, the Conservatives, Lib Dems or one of the smaller parties, making your voice heard at the polls is one of the most powerful things you can do as a young person. And that’s what YouTube’s latest campaign – featuring Humza ArshadSuli BreaksFunForLouis and more –  is all about.

“Tons of you are watching the election debates, chewing over the issues, and thinking about who to vote for,” wrote YouTube public policy exec Alina Dimofte in a blog post. “And we encourage people – especially young people – to use their #PowerToDecide and make themselves heard in Westminster next week.”

Young people are more opinionated than any generation that came before. But we’re still the least likely group to vote in a general election.

Only 42% of 18-24 year olds are expected to vote in the general election on June 8th. Compare that with 75% of over 65 who are expected to cast their ballot, and you can see how our voices could get drowned out by those much older than us. But it’s up to all of us to stop that from happening. Both the US Presidential Election and last year’s Brexit vote could have had different outcomes if young people voted in as high numbers as older voters. We’re not kidding when we say that young people can literally make or break elections.

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So what do you need to do to vote in the general election?

1. Be registered

Firstly, you need to be registered to vote. The deadline was April 25th, so if you didn’t get registered then unfortunately you can’t vote this time. But you can encourage your friends who have registered to go out and vote!

2. Work out who to vote for

Election campaigns are filled with noise – most of it useless. The best way to work out who you should vote for is to judge it based on what each party has said it wants to do. Websites like whoshouldivotefor.com are great for this. You just decide how much you agree or disagree with policies, and they tell you which party is going to deliver on the things that are important to you. That way you don’t have all that mud-slinging and immature nonsense politicians do during election season getting in the way of your decision.

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3. Take yourself down to your local polling station on June 8th

Polling stations open at 7am and close at 10pm on election day. And voting takes less than five minutes, so there’s always time to squeeze a little voting into your day. If you got your polling card through the post, bring that along. But don’t worry if you don’t have one – if you’re registered to vote, you can just tell the people running the polling station your name and they’ll let you vote.

AND DON’T TAKE PHOTOS IN POLLING STATIONS BECAUSE IT’S ILLEGAL.

4. Brag about it on social media

Voting is goals. Tell everyone you voted. Be real smug about it. Tweet about it, Tumblr it, Snapchat yourself going in or out of the polling station (just not while you’re actually voting). Not only do you get to brag, but you might encourage someone else to vote. More youth votes = more youth power.

Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s why the Mandeville Sisters reckon you should go and vote.

And here’s Jack Edwards giving you the lowdown on why taking part in the general election matters to all of us

We’re stuck with whoever the country decides to elect for five years. You could end up with the person you want in power without having to bother turning up to vote. But if the election doesn’t go the way you want it to, you don’t want to be left wishing you’d cast your vote, do you?

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