The Staggers 5 February 2015 Over 200,000 young people have fallen off the electoral register: time to get them back It's National Voter Registration Day today and time for the young people hit by the system changes to sign up. Young people have dropped off the electoral register in their masses. Photo: Getty Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up If you’re a parent or grandparent of someone who recently turned 18, or is just about to, you’ll want them to have their say in the future of the country. Today, make sure they get their right to vote. Today is National Voter Registration Day, pioneered by the brilliant Bite the Ballot. When the Tories are persistently attacking young people but the number of 18-year-olds registered to vote has almost halved, it’s time to take action. Young people have dropped off the electoral register in their masses – not by choice, but because the rules have changed. New rules mean parents can’t register their children to vote, while universities and colleges can’t register students in halls of residence. In just one year, over 200,000 young people have disappeared from the electoral register. That’s a terrifying number. It’s a city the size of Southampton, all left without a vote. It’s not just 18-year-olds, either. The Electoral Commission says three in 10 people under 25 are missing from the electoral register. Their voices won’t be heard, whatever they have to say. Often, the way politicians try to get young people involved in politics is to talk about "youth issues". Today, I want to try something different. In my work as shadow minister for care and older people, I meet lots of young people who really worry about their grandparents or aunts and uncles, and who go out of their way to help out. Just as older people are concerned about younger family members getting a good education, finding a home and getting a decent job, young people want to know that their relatives are being well looked after if they’re sick or frail – be that in their own homes, in a care home or in hospital. I know many young people do their best to help out with their elderly relatives when they can. So on National Voter Registration Day, if there’s a young person in your family who does something caring, whether it’s a bit of help with chores, volunteering, helping you sort out paperwork, or just phoning for a chat, do something caring for them. Tell them to get on the computer or get their smartphone out and register to vote here. It’ll only take five minutes and all they need is their name, address, and National Insurance number. They should have got their NI number at 16, but if they’ve lost or forgotten it, then get them to call 0300 200 3502 to find it. It’s not difficult to do. Since I started my voter registration campaign in the New Year, I’ve been working with older family members across the country to get their younger relatives online and registering. Thanks to the work of my colleague Ivan Lewis, we’ve registered thousands of young people to vote. Get a relative on the register today. I doubt you’ll be thanked for keeping on about it, but you’ll have given someone you care about a voice in how our country is run. Tens of thousands of young people give up their time to help others. Today, let’s give them a say in their future. Liz Kendall is the MP for Leicester West and shadow minister for care and older people › Ketamine users, beware: your trip might end on an operating table Subscribe For daily analysis & more political coverage from Westminster and beyond subscribe for just £1 per month!