Meet the Brunel 3rd year on a mission to get you politically engaged
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Last week we spoke to Rachael Farrington, founder of Voting Counts, about her website and the ways it allows young voters to engage in the politics around them. Rachael is a final year politics student at Brunel University, graduating this summer. Having launched Voting Counts whilst in sixth form, she explains that the initial challenges she faced included becoming a self-taught website designer and struggling with different political parties and news outlets, whom she had to convince "to take [her] seriously”. Rachael created Voting Counts because “My friends were constantly asking me whom they should vote for, but as a politically active person my answer was always pretty biased.” She had the idea of providing an online resource where undecided young voters could seek information in an unbiased way, rather than basing important decisions on “one-sided opinion from friends, family and the media." For a referendums such as last year's on leaving the European Union, Voting Counts offered reasons to vote for both sides, fact-checked by an EU politics academic. In an age when false information can be disseminated and propagated, Rachael's clear aim is to ensure Voting Counts was "giving people accurate information”. Rachael believes that the reason young people may be politically disengaged often lies in how easy it is to be out of the loop and “fall into the habit of not voting”. She thinks a lot of young people haven’t yet realised how politics affects them personally, meaning voting isn't a priority.
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