Using a new hastag, # Ink It Up! The Guyana National Youth Council (GNYC) has taken to social media and other platforms to urge young voters to cast their ballots at the Regional and General elections slated for March 2.
The campaign was launched earlier this month through partner with a number of organisations to promote a civic and voter education to youth across Guyana.
President of GNYC, Quacy Grant told Kaieteur News that Ink It Up! is aimed at enhancing the participation of young people in the electoral process.
He explained that the voter education initiative is supported by the Guyana Elections Commission, (GECOM), USAID, the US Youth Action Network and the International Republican Institute.
“We are not using the traditional means such as television. Our campaign is through mainly our social media platforms such as Facebook. And for instance, we are launching our voter education bus that will be mobile in different parts of the country in the coming days leading up to elections.”
According to GNYC President, pop-up events are scheduled for various market places, bus parks and shopping malls, among other locations geared at attracting high volumes of youth.
He explained that the pop up events will feature games, mini-talks and mock polling stations to educate individuals on what happens on the day of elections and the voting process.
The Ink It Up! campaign also utilises radio as platforms to spread information on the voting process, roles and responsibilities, among other key non-partisan messages through visual, textual and audio forms.
Additionally, the GNYC‘s Ink It Up! campaign includes a national training series for youth in hubs across all administrative regions in collaboration with GECOM.
Grant explained that the young people are trained to host voters’ villages, which the council referred to as “informal and youth-friendly face-to-face voter education” in public spaces in a pop-up format.
Added to that, the GNYC’ radio programme, Youth Talk Back Live (YTBL) is also a key platform in which the network can have a two-way dialogue with youth to both motivate and educate them.
GNYC has been an integral part of reaching the young demographic with voter education. Civic and voter education is one means by which the network has been fostering an enabling environment for youth. This is second voter education initiative by GNYC – a group especially focused on creating a strong network of youth people across the country.
Given its reach to nation‘s youth, Chairman Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh, spoke at the launch of the Ink It Up! campaign earlier this month, appealing to the young citizens to foster a peaceful elections process.
“You will do your utmost as youth leaders. Go out there and enlighten the electorate and let them know what they should desist from and that is important that they exercise their ballot because that is their constitutional right.”
“They [citizens] have a right to vote for the person and party of their choice. We are all grateful for this session and for having this exercise as we all know that at election time, tempers and atmosphere is charged [but] we know better and we should try to impart that into other members of the electorate,” she said.
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