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Project launched to find out why so many people don't vote

Despite a 3% increase in voter turnout in June thousands still didn't vote Credit: PA images

A project is being launched today to find out why so many people in Wales still don't vote.

The 'Missing voices' project will look into how people across Wales feel about politics and the barriers that stop thousands of young and disabled people from heading to the ballot box.

It is being launched by the Electoral Reform Society Cymru in partnership with other organisations such as the Electoral Commission, NUS Wales, and the Welsh Government amongst many others.

"There are thousands of people in our society who have no voice on any major decisions that are being made on their lives and we need to find out why.The project will engage directly with people who sporadically vote or maybe have never voted before in their lives so that we can understand what needs to be done to make politics more relevant and more engaging. The information we collect will enable us to find a way to break down barriers that stop people voting and get thousands of missing voices in Wales heard."

– Jess Blair, ERS Cymru Director

Reports suggested the 3% increase in voter turnout in last June's general election was largely due to a significant peak in young voters, yet there were thousands who did not vote.

"We want our young people and students to be active citizens, and to feel that they have an important contribution to make to society.

We're really pleased to be working with ERS Cymru and partners on the 'Missing Voices' project.

I hope that, as a result, we will have a better understanding of how the political system can be made more engaging and accessible to our young people."

– Carmen Smith, NUS Wales Deputy President

ERS Cymru will be talking to as many people as possible over the next few months, with the finding of the project published in the autumn.