The University of East Anglian in Norwich, Norfolk has hit upon a novel approach to the pressing need to encourage more young voters to take part in the upcoming General Election this year, by launching 'Goats For Votes' today. Publicity has also been heightened by inviting #Students to attend events related to the campaign, through the UEA's Facebook pages on social media.
To grab the attention of the young people (nee 'kids'!), the snappy 'motto' did have some actual relevance, in that the invite included the opportunity to meet real goats and take selfies with the animals, that could then be posted on Twitter using the #GoatsForVotes hashtag. The Facebook invite encouraged students to join the Union of UEA Students (UUEAS) in the Square at the university between 11am and 3pm, to become better acquainted with the procedure on how to sign up to vote in the General Election, promising attendees the chance to meet some actual goats afterwards.
Besides taking selfies, students were also able to pet the goats that had been made available to the university for the day by Sam Steggles, a local farmer. There was also an opportunity to grab 'Goats for Votes' merchandise, besides chatting with Union officers, staff and other voters about what options were available for voting.
The itinerary did not stop there, as the captive audience were then offered the chance to proceed on to The Hive, where views could be shared regarding the General Election in the Diary Room.
Judging by the traffic on Twitter, it seems to have been a popular and fun event with the students, many of whom have posted their own pictures and videos of the experience. Many have expressed their view that it was an excellent means of engaging the target audience and also how easy it was to register to vote. The stars of the day were undoubtedly the goats themselves though, who seem to have been well received by the animal loving fraternity among the students. #Government #YoungstersThe event formed part of National Voter Registration Day, run by the 'Bite The Ballot' movement, a non-profit making group that "empowers young people to speak up, act, and make their votes and opinions count." As such, they have no affiliations or allegiances to any one political party. They rely on donations from grant-making organisations (such as the British Council and Franks Federation Foundation) and also from commissioned work, in order to meet their running costs.