A Torbay teenager has joined a campaign to encourage more eligible young people to vote in the March State election.
Former Albany Senior High School student Amy Maddy, 18, moved to Perth this week to embark on an international aid and development degree at Murdoch University, but that has not stopped her joining dozens of other youth ambassadors, motivating their peers to vote.
Amy has signed up to help the WA Electoral Commission’s youth campaign, targeting voters in the 18 to 24-year-old age group.
“It is so important that we do get out there and vote because there is so many of us and we really could change how the election goes,” she said.
“I’m quite interested in politics but I very much understand why not many of my peers aren’t.
“They believe that (the election outcome) doesn’t really affect them and they’ll be all right, when it really does affect them both now and in the long term.”
The winning margin for the Albany seat was just 89 votes at the 2008 election, the most marginal in WA.
Latest figures show 610 eligible Albany youths are not enrolled to vote and nationally WA is the worst State for youth voter enrolment, sitting around 10 per cent below the national average of 76.9 per cent.
WA Electoral Commissioner Warwick Gately said every effort was being made to boost enrolment.
“Participation in the State election is our top priority at the moment but there’s a Federal poll coming up too, and local government elections in October, so 2013 really is an important year to make your voice heard,” he said.Ms Maddy, who sat in the WA Youth Parliament in 2011 and 2012, said she wanted youth to exercise their right to vote and would be at a polling station in Albany on March 9 encouraging peers to follow her lead.