Athlone IT Students Union president Kevin Ronan said that students are not just there to make up the numbers in General Election 2016 and he anticipates a high turn-out by third level students in the upcoming election.
Mr Ronan made the comments at the recent launch of smartvote.ie, an online app which helps voters to decide who they should vote for. The app matches the users’ answers to a series of questions tackling important issues such as the future funding of higher education against the answers of their local constituency candidates. The user is then given the opportunity to review each candidate’s answers and their reasons, to help them make an informed decision in the voting booth.
“We’re hopeful that this online tool will play a big part in the upcoming election and encourage a younger generation of voters to engage with the political system. We saw the influence young people had on the Marriage Referendum and we’re hopeful that they are now empowered to control change in the upcoming election," said Mr Ronan.
The Union of Students in Ireland (USI ) have backed the campaign which is now live at www.smartvote.ie and can be accessed online via smartphone or tablet. This launch coincides with the launch of the USI manifesto for the General Election and their campaign #MakeASmartVote.
Mr Ronan added: “Students are not just here to make up the numbers; they hold a key role in ensuring that the next government have their best interests at heart".