Youth Are Not Passive – Youth Voter Turnout Close to European Average

Youth voter turnout in BiH elections is the same as the turnout of the general population, and data should not be manipulated to give a false impression of youth being passive and irresponsible.

According to data of the Central Election Committee, which were double-checked at the request of the Institute for Youth Development KULT, youth turnout is more than 50%, and is not significantly different from the European average. According to the results of the 2013 census, there are 773,850 young people in BiH, and they comprise 21.4% of voters in BiH. Youth are a significant portion of the population, and although often neglected or paid lip service in political parties’ program, they can affect the results of elections in a major way.

According to data of the Central Election Committee, over 50% of youth voted in the 2014 general elections, and a similar percentage was recorded during the 2016 local elections.

The analysis of the survey on youth participation in the 2014 BiH elections, conducted by the Institute, showed that only 3.5% of youth do not want to vote, do not believe in the regularity of election, that they expect realistic promises and transparency from candidates, and that they tend to vote along the same political lines as the majority of their friends and family.

In order to allow youth to make informed decisions about their votes, the Institute for Youth Development KULT organized a series of activities and initiatives in 2018 that were focused on political education for youth.

Trainings were held for active young politicians, including a training for the political empowerment of women, all with the intention of drawing attention to the fact that youth issues can and should be included in the programs of BiH political parties and that it’s high time for the highest level of government to include youth as the primary focus in their discourse. We also organized a series of Coffee Time With… events, where we hosted presidential candidates and gave them a chance to talk to more than 300 youth from all parts of BiH.

This way youth were given a chance to talk about the challenges they’re facing, and government representatives elected by youth could tailor their programs to meet the actual needs of youth in BiH.

The Institute for Youth Development KULT encourages youth to step up once again during the 2018 general elections and show that they are responsible citizens by casting their votes based on informed opinions.

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