Today (1 November), polls opened for the second ever Welsh Youth Parliament elections for young people aged between 11 and 18 years old.
Young people will be able to cast their vote anytime from 1 November to 22 November with voting registration closing on 12 November.
Nearly 300 candidates have registered with every single constituency in Wales facing a battle for the seat. Voting is done electronically with each registered voter emailed a unique code to verify their ballot.
As with the first ever Welsh Youth Parliament in 2018-20, there will be 40 constituency seats decided by the votes of young people, in addition to 20 more Members who will be selected by partner organisations to ensure the representation of diverse groups of young people.
Profiles for every candidate running in the election can be found on the Welsh Youth Parliament website.
Maisy Evans, former Welsh Youth Parliament Member for Torfaen said, “The topics we discussed wasn’t to do with ‘politics’ – it was everyday life. The environment, schools, health services; everything that matters.
“Our reports into Emotional and Mental Health Support, Life Skills in the Curriculum, and Litter and Plastic waste were incredibly important and aims to influence both the work of the Senedd and the Welsh Government. It’s so important for politicians to see the value that young people can bring to discussions – ones that often happen without us.
“I want to see the Welsh Youth Parliament go from strength to strength, so I urge everyone out there between 11-17 years old to register to vote and to cast their ballot.”
Elin Jones MS, Llywydd of the Senedd, said, “The Welsh Youth Parliament has been a huge success, it is an excellent way for young people across the country to make their views heard. The Youth Parliament built on our education sessions and work in schools across Wales, alongside the introduction of votes at 16, to demonstrate our strong commitment to the next generation.
“Young people have just as much a stake in our country as everyone else, and Members of the first Welsh Youth Parliament have demonstrated their passion, activism and ability to influence decisions. This institution is now a key part of our democracy and over the last few years the Members’ hard work and perspectives have contributed in important ways to the work of the Senedd and decisions made by the Welsh Government.
“It is crucial that young people have an opportunity to get involved in democracy as soon as possible and I’m proud of the efforts of this institution. I hope every young person in Wales takes this opportunity to make their voice heard and vote in the Welsh Youth Parliament elections.”
The results of the election will be announced on 1 December with the new members meeting for the first time in the New Year.
To register to vote, visit www.youthparliament.wales before the deadline of 12 November.