29 students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have elected to work today’s general election as ballot box handlers.
The students will be working with Leicester City Council to play their part in the count, where the results from each constituency in the city will be announced in the early hours of Friday morning.
Taking place at Morningside Arena, home of the Leicester Riders basketball team, the count will start once the ballot boxes arrive from polling stations across the city’s constituencies.
Today’s general election is the first time English Literature BA student Olivia King has been eligible to vote. She is one of the students ensuring the safe passage of the ballot boxes.
“I studied Politics at A-level, so it’s an area I’m really interested in,” she said. “This is also the first time I’ve been able to vote, so when the opportunity came up I was dying to get involved and to see what it was all about.
“I do feel slightly nervous about the results because there’s a lot of speculation, particularly over the future of the NHS, but I’m excited to be able to see the results come in.
“I think it’s so important for young people to get involved in politics because democracy is about getting your voice heard. It’s our future we’re deciding, so go out there and vote,” she added.
Student Olivia King
Engineering Management MSc student Jestin James, originally from India, seized the opportunity to experience the British political system first-hand:
“As an international student, it’s a really great chance to get involved in UK politics. As soon as I heard about the opportunity through Unitemps I volunteered straight away,” he said.
Elias Okafor acted as a polling officer during the 2015 general election in Nigeria. Now studying for his International Business and Human Resource Management MSc, Elias wanted to see how the electoral system differs between the two countries.
“I always wanted to make an impact politically, which is why I co-ordinated the polling station in my hometown. Now I’ve taken the chance to learn more about how the UK co-ordinates their ballots so I can bring this knowledge home to Nigeria,” he said.
“People always say we are the leaders of tomorrow, well tomorrow is here and young people need to get involved to learn the ropes and ensure there isn’t a knowledge gap,” Elias added.
Student Elias Okafor
Polling stations opened at 7am this morning and will close at 10pm this evening.
Those registered to vote can cast their ballot at their nearest polling station, as detailed on their polling cards.
Posted on Thursday 12th December 2019