What makes fam­ily tick

Central Leader - - News -

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.

Photo: BEN CAMP­BELL

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.

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