Thousands of young people not registered to vote in Senedd election

Credit: PA

Thousands of 16 and 17 year olds are yet to register to vote in the upcoming Senedd election with the deadline just days away, according to figures from the Electoral Reform Society.

An estimated 70,000 16 and 17 year olds living in Wales are eligible to vote in the Senedd elections on 6th May.

It is the first time over 16s will be allowed to vote in an election in Wales.

The deadline to register to vote is the 19th of April and campaigners are urging young people not to lose their democratic right.

Jess Blair, Director of ERS Cymru said: "The estimates appear to confirm fears that thousands of 16 and 17 year olds are at risk of not having their say on 6th May. “The Senedd elections represent a huge opportunity for young people to make their voices heard on a range of issues that affect their lives including education, health and the economy. The extension of the franchise to 16 and 17 year olds should be a historic moment for Wales, but to make that happen  16 and 17 year olds need to register and turn out to vote.“Local authorities need to be doing all they can in this final week to close the registration gap and ensure we have a level playing field, so all of Wales can be heard on May 6th. And the Welsh Government needs to stop this postcode lottery by using its power to implement automatic voter registration."

Figures suggest just 33% of 16 and 17 year olds in Swansea are registered to vote compared to an estimated 65% in the Vale of Glamorgan.

People can register to vote by visiting the UK Government website.