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GOAV: How, Where, When and Why

GOAV: How, Where, When and Why

Categories: Past Event Articles

Thursday April 15 2021

Elections mean nothing if we don’t actually take part and this is why on a Sunday afternoon at the start of spring, Al-Masaar, in partnership with MEND, live-streamed “Your Voice Matters”. A webinar looking at the why’s, when’s, how’s and where’s of voting.

The event which was delivered in both English and Urdu took us through the practicalities of the voting system, looking first at how to register to vote, the different types of ways to vote and the all-important cut off dates in Scotland:

  • 6th April to register for a postal vote – this is where you submit your vote by post, votes have to be in by 10 pm on 6th May
  • 19th April to register to vote at the polling station – this is where you vote on 6th May at your local polling station
  • 6th May 5 pm to register to have a proxy vote – this is where someone else (a trusted person) casts your vote at your polling station on your behalf.

We noted that just because you have registered to vote does not mean that this information needs to be public, you can ask for your information to be unseen on the open electoral role.

We also looked at who could vote in Scotland:

  • Anyone over the age of 16
  • British or Irish citizen, or
  • Commonwealth citizens who have leave to remain in the UK, or does not require such leave, or
  • citizen of a European Union country, or
  • Qualifying foreign national who has permission to enter or remain in the UK, or who does not need such permission

We explained about the two-vote system in Scotland that you need to mark both sheets with your chosen party or parties.

But possibly the most important part of the webinar was when we looked at the barriers to voting. Many within the community feeling that they are not part of the political system for many reasons, including not feeling represented by political parties, and not feeling that their voice matters or is even heard.

But we showed that all voices count, that politicians work for us and not that other way around and that everyone’s vote is equal you just need to use it.

It doesn’t matter who you vote for, so long as you are voting and voting for the party you feel is right for you.

View the full event at Facebook

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