National organisation for LGBT in Ireland, BeLong To has launched an online campaign to urge young people to register to vote.
The move coincides with the YES EQUALITY voter registration drive ahead of the Civil Marriage Equality Referendum that is set to take place in spring 2015.
Recent polls indicate that young Irish people are the largest group in favour of constitutional change, with some 88% of 18-25 year old’s claiming that they would vote in favour of equal marriage.
“Young people are the biggest supporters but not great in terms of being registered,” says Dale McDermott, President of Young Fine Gael.
The statistics on youth voter registration show that over one third of people within this age bracket are not currently registered to vote.
“Irish young people have always been agents for progressive change and today we are reaching out to all young adults aged 18-25 to say – this is your opportunity to create the society you want – this is your generation’s decision” said Michael Barron, Founding Director of BeLonG To.
“We know that Ireland is ready for this change and that Irish young people really want a fair and equal society” He added.
The Draft Electoral Register for 2015 has been published and it is possible to change details on this up until the 25th of November by using an RFA1 form.
The chairperson of BeLong To, Anna Quigley, also acknowledges the ‘pivotal role’ that young people are to play in the upcoming referendum but recognises the necessity of youth voter registration.
“Despite extremely positive polling results indicating a potential positive outcome in the referendum, we cannot be complacent” she says.
“Our work starts here and now by ensuring that every young person is registered to vote next spring, without them we cannot win.”
Recent polls also indicate that the 65+ group are less likely to support equal marriage with just 38% indicating that they would vote in favour of constitutional change.
“The ultimate goal is to convince the higher age brackets. [Those who are] 25 and up are who we need to tackle in order to win” says McDermott. “When we can explain the issue and our reasons for why we just want equality – I think we can convince them!”
Video and Images courtesy of BeLong To