My article for The Guardian’s Local Leaders Network (12 March 2014), addressing the upcoming local elections in May. I asked how local government could help encourage young people to get involved, arguing that better election information online would help engage voters.
Over the past five years, UK taxpayers have spent approximately £222m administering local elections . Democracy doesn’t come for free, but we would get better value for money if more of us were voting. At present, with turnouts at local elections ranging from 30% to 40%, it costs the state about £4.34 for every vote cast.
What do we get for our money? One thing certainly missing from our election infrastructure is the provision of comprehensive, accessible information about local elections. After the last local elections over half of people surveyed by the Electoral Commission said they knew little or nothing about the election…