The student vote is likely to decide the result of the election in CambridgeMatt Gutteridge

CUSU has backed a motion to fund a voter registration drive ahead of the snap general election on 8th June.

Members of CUSU council yesterday backed a grant of £626 to fund the campaign, which is set to include a flyer drop, poster campaign and social media promotion.

Of this, £100 will be allocated to the organising of a hustings event, possibly to be held jointly with the Students’ Union of Anglia Ruskin University.

The stated aim of the campaign is to reduce the number of 18-24 year-old voters who are not on the electoral register, which is currently estimated at approximately two million. The motion further resolved to lobby the University to include optional voter registration as part of the annual process of student enrolment in future.

The student vote is likely to be essential to the outcome of the election in Cambridge, with former Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert seeking to overturn the narrow majority of 599 votes won by Labour’s Daniel Zeichner at the last election.

Speaking at CUSU council yesterday, CUSU Education Officer Roberta Huldisch, who proposed the motion, told Varsity that she believed it was important to get voter registration "into people's conscience", and in particular “make sure Commonwealth and Irish students know they are allowed to vote.”

Huldisch also said that "the general election that is coming up is going to have a huge impact on students in the future, in terms of higher education policy, fees, in terms of support for students, and so it's really important, even though you're in the middle of exams, to go out and vote."

The funds for the campaign will come from the Council Free Budget, an allocation from the main CUSU budget that provides ad hoc funding to the autonomous campaigns and other university organisations. The Budget is set for a dramatic reduction from next year, according to the draft funding allocation that was also discussed at Council yesterday, which revealed a £75,000 deficit in the CUSU accounts.

A similar campaign to encourage voter registration was launched ahead of the 2015 election. On that occasion, CUSU received a grant of £10,000 from the NUS to fund the campaign. The sum was partly spent on a “Paper Boat Flash Mob”, which saw Cambridge students float paper boats down the Thames on the day of the Boat Race to raise awareness of the voter registration deadline

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