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Educational advice for first-time voters 18 April 2008

FIRST-TIME voters at the forthcoming local authority election are benefiting from educational materials produced by the Department of Education.

Thursday 24 April sees the first local authority election since Tynwald lowered the voting age to 16 in 2006.

The Department has produced four leaflets for students at its secondary schools and the Isle of Man College, explaining how and where they will cast their vote.

The leaflets explain how the local authority system works and how Douglas Council and town, district, village and parish boards of commissioners differ from each other. They also detail the roles of local authorities and the arguments for and against the present structure of 24 elected bodies.

The leaflets advise students where contests are being held and how the voting procedure works, reproducing a ballot paper by way of illustration.

Should students’ appetites for local politics be whetted by having the vote for the first time, there is also information on who can stand as a candidate at 18 and how they go about it.

Education Minister Anne Craine MHK said:

‘I am very keen that our young people should learn about the Island's system of government. This is part of their heritage but it is also the heart of our democracy. We need to ensure that our young people develop a good understanding of how both our national and local government work. The Department is very pleased to support the schools in this important area of the school curriculum.’

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