Voter registration should be encouraged says Kingston University lecturer

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A lecturer encouraging students to vote in this upcoming election says it is part of the university’s “civic mission”.

His response came after Carrie Paechter, a Nottingham Trent University professor, was reported to both the police and the Electoral Commission after she posted a tweet urging students to vote, according to an article by The Guardian.

Senior Kingston University comparative politics lecturer Robin Pettitt also regularly tweets to prompt his students to vote.

He believes that the backlash Paechter received was uncalled for.

“Encouraging students to vote generally is so obviously part of the civic mission of universities that complaining about is ridiculous,” he said.

Universities have a legal obligation to encourage voter registration and Kingston University have displayed posters around campus to inform their students.

Although Pettitt said that it would be problematic for academics and the University to encourage the students to vote for a specific party, he is a firm believer in encouraging Kingston University students to vote in general.

“I have been encouraging students to register to vote on Canvas, in seminars and lectures and on Twitter,” he said.

A Kingston University spokesperson said: “Universities are legally required by the Higher Education and Research Act to take steps to encourage students to register to vote.

“It is also an important part of a higher education institution’s wider role in preparing them for their future lives.

“The University is also using its social media platforms to raise awareness on how students can register to vote and the Union of Kingston Students will be hosting stalls on campus where students can also register.” The University will also use be using social media to encourage voter registration.”

The full poster from Kingston University encouraging voter registration. Photo: Marie Mannes
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