What makes family tick
B y Ky l i e R o b e r t s o n Attitudes towards voting have changed a lot since 93-year-old Doris Wilcox first voted.
Doris has voted in every election since she turned 20 and November 8 this year won’t be any different.
The Mt Eden resident says when she was in her 20s women all voted because of the struggle to gain the right to vote.
But Doris’ greatgranddaughter Alana Reece, 23, says her vote is not important to her.
“I was made to enrol by my parents – I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to do it otherwise.”
Alana says she stays away from politics and believes her vote won’t make much difference, which is why she doesn’t plan to vote this year.
“I’m not rebelling, I just don’t want anything to do with it,” she says.
More than half of 18 to 24-year-olds in the Central Auckland electorate are not enrolled.
The Electoral Enrolment Offi ce has launched a campaign aimed at young people.
Alana’s grandmother Janice Reece, 65, who has always voted, says her generation had a greater sense of duty.
“Age didn’t make a difference to whether we cared about policies or not because we had been through the war and the Depression.”
Janice says youth today don’t realise the importance of voting and don’t think of the longterm effects.
“I’m sure though that they would have something to say afterwards when things go wrong.”
Janice says she doesn’t think education will change the attitudes of 18 to 24-year- olds towards elections and enrolment.
“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink,” she says.
Janice’s daughter, Fleur Ross, 39, approached things differently to her mother and grandmother.
“ I didn’t enrol when I was younger because I had other things to do, but then I thought I can’t whinge about policies if I haven’t even voted.”
Fleur says when she got a mortgage and a business, policies affected her more directly so voting became more important.
The Electoral Enrolment Offi ce will have fieldworkers at universities and supermarkets in a bid to reach young people.
For an enrolment pack apply at www.elections. org.nz, text your name and address to 3676, call 0800-36-76- 56 or go to any NZ Post Shop.
G e n e r a t i o n g a p :
Four women from the same family have mixed fe elings o n e n r o l i n g t o vo t e. Fro m l e f t : F l e u r R o s s, D o r i s W i l c ox , Jan i c e R e e c e a n d A l a n a R e e c e.