If you’re celebrating your 18th birthday this year you should be getting an extra card – from Lancaster City Council.
The council is sending out ‘birthday ballot papers’ to everyone on the electoral roll when they turn 18 to remind them that they are now old enough to vote and encourage them to use this right at the next election.
The ballot papers provide basic information about voting and mark the 100th anniversary of women gaining the vote.
In 1918, The Representation of the People Act started to give women the right to vote thanks to the work of the suffragettes and suffragists, including local woman Selina Martin.
Selina lived on Windermere Road in Lancaster and joined the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1908 when she was 25. At a time when women could not vote or stand for Parliament, Selina was hailed as a hero, being imprisoned on numerous occasions due to her suffragette work.
Lisa Vines, the city council’s elections manager, said: “Statistics show that the 18-25 year old age group are one of the most underrepresented group in polling booths.
“The next city council elections are not until May 2019 but there could be a snap General Election or a by-election at any time.
“The suffragettes fought for the vote so we’re reminding people to exercise their right at the ballot box.”