When it comes to voting, Swiss youth shun technology

Young people in Switzerland turn to their parents first for voting advice, says a new study that challenges assumptions about where youth gather political information.

This content was published on March 25, 2017 - 13:00
Usually, it isn't easy to separate members of the younger generation from their smartphones. But when it comes to getting vote information, they're more likely to turn elsewhere Keystone

Although they may be tied to technology for many other things, young voters look to their parents or teachers for political information before going online, says the latest political monitor study from the Swiss youth vote advocacy organisation EasyVote. 

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Nor do young voters' top concerns differ much from those of their older counterparts. Discussions about immigrants and policies towards foreigners also topped the issues Swiss residents in general are most concerned with, according to the 2016 Worry Barometer.

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However, turnout at the ballot box is significantly lower among young people than among the general population in Switzerland. In 2015, 30% of 18 to 24-year-olds voted in the last parliamentary elections, while general voter turnout was 48.5%. 

The biggest reason for not voting cited among young people is not a lack of interest in politics but rather a sense that voting and political processes are too complicated and difficult to understand. 

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Easyvote political monitor 2016

The representative survey of 1,477 people between 15 and 25 years of age was carried out by the gfs.bern institute on behalf of Swiss youth parliaments and the easyvote organisation.

Easyvote's goal is to increase vote participation among young people in Switzerland. 

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