A Cambridgeshire-based entrepreneur is spearheading a innovative campaign to persuade the Government to customise polling cards that target specific age groups and motivate more people, especially younger age groups, to vote in local and national elections. On average less than 30% of eligible voters bother to turn out for elections and less than 4% of 18 – 25 year olds are forecast to vote at the forthcoming Police Commissioner elections.
Print and design expert Frank Golden firmly believes that the current design of the polling card is a huge turn off, especially amongst the hard-to-attract 18 to 25 year age group, and does absolutely nothing to encourage people to take any interest in voting. He said: “Why is the Government sending out exactly the same card to 18 year olds and OAP’s? They speak a totally different language and are attracted by different messages. This ‘catch-all’ card is grey, boring, staid and quite frankly about as appealing to an 18 year old as an appointment reminder card from the dentist. “
To demonstrate how effective the polling card could be in attracting voters, Golden’s company PrintHut.co.uk® has produced a sample print campaign entitled ‘Democrazy’ which is aimed at the 18 – 25 age groups. The card features digital watermarking and uses QR codes which let the user access relevant information via their smart phones. A ‘Democrazy’ website and Facebook page have been registered which are featured on the polling card and linked to all the popular social networking sites to provide online content in a language they understand.
Added Golden, “Because the Government database has already captured the demographics for each voter, it is really easy to design a card which can be tailored and personalised to reflect the interest of the target audience. If supermarkets can do it so brilliantly, why can’t the government?”
‘Good graphics, bold colours and dynamic text will stimulate the interest of young people. Excite them, speak their language, turn them on to the importance of elections and I am convinced that the reward will be a dramatic increase in the number of 18 – 25 year olds casting their votes on polling day.”
Date 26 October 2012
Hi res images available on request
According to the Electoral Commission, only 56 per cent of 19- to 24-year-olds and 55 per cent of 17- and 18-year-olds are on the electoral register. 8.5million people in the UK (of which 3.5 million are young people) are not on the electoral register. Figures revealed that Facebook has 1.08million 18-year-old users in Britain, compared with just over half a million who have reached voting age in the past year and registered on the electoral roll.
Frank Golden is managing director of PrintHut.co.uk® in St Neots and has been in the print and design industry for over 20 years. With an individuality and forthrightness which is rare in the printing world, Frank is passionate about effective use of design and print, and believes that creativity and targeting are key to achieving success and true value in marketing.