(PRESS RELEASE) — The Saint Lucia National Youth Council recognizes the need for active youth participation in Saint Lucia’s national democratic processes.
Our district branches, students’ councils, National Youth Parliament, and zonal debates are established to harness the social and civic consciousness of youth as agents of change in the wider society. We recognize the purposes to which our initiatives and structures serve but we are cognizant that we must create relevant programming which focuses on widespread public education and provide a conduit for the expression of youth’s perspectives on national development, especially with the National General Elections on the horizon.
On Tuesday, July 14, the Saint Lucia National Youth Council met with Voter and Civic Education Officer Alymphia Lionel to discuss the coordination of a ‘Youth Voter Education Campaign’ leading up to the 2020/2021 national general elections.
The campaign will aim to achieve an increase in the overall voter turnout by targeting Saint Lucia’s youth populace, resulting in the improvement of the 2016 national voter turnout figure which was 53.27%. Additionally, the campaign will seek to record youth participation in the democratic processes leading to the general elections — from registration to voting.
The project aims to decrease the illegitimacy of ballots as the Electoral Department recorded a total of 2,223 spoilt ballots out of the 86,525 ballots cast during the 2016 general elections. We believe that by educating youth on voting rights and the value of our approximate 101,000 youth voices, we can position the country’s youth to effectively demand opportunities and policies which will positively impact our demographic.
The 2020/2021 Youth Voter Education Campaign will seek to engage youth through a series of formal and informal activities, comprising social media competitions, mock voting centres, focus group discussions, social events, youth town hall sessions and constituency debates.
We will be releasing further details on the campaign and it will be announced in the coming weeks.
In 1997, the Saint Lucia National Youth Council Incorporation Act (1997) was passed in Parliament, making the Council the legal and legitimate body representing youth throughout the island. Our main objective is “to promote the active participation of youth in the economic, social, cultural, and political life of Saint Lucia.”
— (Saint Lucia National Youth Council)