The Importance Of Voting I Oxford Open Learning


    The Importance Of Voting

    Voting: How And Why You Should Do It

    Politics. Often a touchy subject among adults, it is a concept that is more likely to inspire groans or a case of eyes glazing over among young people. It has long had the stigma of being boring, uninteresting and having very little to do with the day-to-day lives of young people, but that idea couldn’t be further from the truth.

    Politics Has A Huge Impact On Your Life And Your Future

    Our politicians, through their respective parties, are the people that we put in charge of our country. They are who we put our trust in to make decisions on laws, public services like schools and the NHS, and plenty of other things too. We do that by voting them into power in a general election—we have one coming up this year. Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, or other, whichever of our political parties align with your ideals or you feel best serve your interests, it’s important to get out there on polling day and show your support. If you don’t know your Labour from your Lib Dem, now is the time to learn. And if you’re not old enough to vote yet, it’s still important to know what’s going on politically in the country, as it will help you make the most informed decision you can when you turn 18.

    Why Should I Vote?

    Voting gives you a say in the deciding of how the UK is run. The Members of Parliament (MPs) you elect are the ones who will make the decisions on the issues you care about. An election is also your chance to speak out if you disagree with how the country is being run. If you don’t vote, you’ll have no say on those who will end up making these decisions. You may well think, Well, it’s just one vote, that’s not really going to make much of a difference, is it? But consider this: In the 2019 general election, over 15 million people were non-voters, amounting to almost a third of the registered population! Of people aged 18-24, over 50% did not cast a vote in the election. Had that not been the case, it could have made a huge difference to the outcome of the election. Never underestimate the importance of your vote.

    How Do I Vote?

    There are several ways to vote. But before you do that, you need to be on the electoral register. If you don’t sign up, you won’t be allowed to vote come Polling Day. It’s a straightforward process that you can do online here, it even tells you what and where you’re eligible to vote.

    Voting in person is the most common way to cast yours. They take place in polling stations locally, usually in a public building such as a church, a school or a public hall. Once you’re registered and voting time comes along, you’ll be sent a polling card which will tell you where you can cast your vote. This is important, as you cannot cast your vote anywhere else.

    Polling stations will be open from 7 am until 10 pm on polling day, and all you need to do is turn up, give your name and address to the staff inside and show your photo ID (you can’t vote without ID). You’ll then be given a ballot paper that lists the people and parties you can vote for. Just like in exams, follow the instructions on the paper; marking too many boxes, or making the wrong kind of mark will make your vote void. Don’t let all your efforts go to waste. If you are unable to vote in person, you can also vote by post. Find out how to do that in more detail here. Then there is also the option to have somebody vote on your behalf, which is also known as voting by proxy. This could be because of a disability, being out of the country, or other reasons. Find out how to vote by proxy here.

    What If No Party Represents My Best Interests?

    It’s possible you might not align with the values of any party, or believe none of them are doing enough to solve the problems of the country. If that is how you feel, you might just think you may as well stay at home and do nothing. But that can send the wrong message, that you are uninterested instead of disengaged. You can spoil your ballot by either leaving it blank or by deliberately filling it in incorrectly. These votes are still counted, and if the numbers are significant, parties may start thinking about what they can do to reconnect with the disengaged voters.

    Make Your Voice Heard

    You have a voice. You have a right. It’s up to you to use that to make your voice heard and be a part of the positive change you want to bring not only to your constituency but to the country as a whole as well. So when election day comes around this year, be sure to turn up and cross that box.


    One of the many things politicians influence is the Economy. If you are interested in studying the subject academically, Oxford Home Schooling offers you the chance to do so at several levels, shown below. You can also find advice via our Contact Us page.

    Economics A level

    Economics IGCSE

    Economics GCSE


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