Elections GO! (EGO) is a project which will design and build a digital platform with voter facilitation and mobilisation functions for use across the EU. The platform will include tools to promote voter registration, voter information sections and mobilisation options which will allow voters to suggest public policy ideas, comment on existing policy platforms and use voter advice applications to engage with parties and candidates.
The project is funded by the European Commission DG Justice under the Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme.
The project has three objectives, to:
- establish a best practice approach to the design of the political participation digital platform and communication plan through a review of the literature and engagement with stakeholders;
- design and develop the digital platform and communication plan with facilitation and mobilisation objectives;
- communicate the project outcomes to key stakeholders and the public at a launch event and through the project network after the conclusion of the project.
Turnout at elections in advanced industrial democracies has been in decline for some decades. This problem is particularly acute at European Parliament elections. Not only is electoral participation declining, it is systematically skewed in favour of older, better-educated, healthier and more affluent citizens (Wass and Blais, 2017). Several arguments, advanced to explain the situation, can be usefully grouped into two clusters; facilitation and mobilisation. Facilitation builds upon the principles of inclusive democracy: participation should be accessible for all kinds of citizens, regardless of their resources or personal characteristics (Young 2000). It refers to rather short-term issues around access to the polls while mobilisation is concerned with more complex antecedents of voting such as political trust, political efficacy, citizenship ideals and interest in politics. Strategies to promote greater political engagement among young people must take account of both sets of factors and devise strategies which makes it easier for young voters to access the polls but much more crucially, must engage young citizens with political decision-making process and enhance the perceived link between its outcomes and citizen realities.
Election administrators, political parties and youth groups all attest to the difficulties in reaching young voters and international research underscores this situation (Henn and Weinstein, 2006; Dalton, 2013). EGO will make it possible to facilitate and promote young people’s participation in politics across the EU. The project will also design a communication plan to support the promotion of the platform. The project team of University College Cork, Modern Democracy and the University of Helsinki will work with a stakeholder network including election administrators, political groups and campaigners, schools, media, academics and national youth organisations to identify a best practice approach to the design of the voter mobilisation and political participation platform.
This project has received funding from the European Commission Diretorate-General Justice and Consumers under the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020).
Grant number: 769067
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