The Virgin Voter Collective #ThirdAdventure
While creating Candidate - see previous blog post, Derek and I came across many other youth run initiatives in New Zealand working towards a similar goal, to reverse the decline of youth voter turnout in the upcoming general election. This is where the idea for the Virgin Voter Collective came from.
As Campaign Manager and Spokesperson, I brought together a number of these campaigns to work together to tackle the issue. The Virgin Voter Collective (VVC) was a non-partisan, nationwide, umbrella effort to connect the many individual campaigns aiming to reverse the decline of young voter participation in New Zealand. As a collective we were able to bring together resources and knowledge to tackle the issue together.
After the election the Collective were astounded of the results. A survey done by Horizon Research showed that the VVC had a significant impact on youth voter turn out. The results showed that among 18-24 year old New Zealanders approximately 1 in 5 were aware of the Collective (20.7%), and 31% of those youth were influenced to vote from the VVC’s activities, so 43,300 were influenced to vote. The Electoral Commission statistics showed that voting by 18-29 year olds increased by 23%. The total number of youth voter was still low overall but our goal to reverse the decline was definitely achieved.