Video: President and CEO Attends First-Time Youth Voter Festival in Myanmar
On Saturday, February 1, 2020, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) President and CEO Tony Banbury attended the Yangon First-Time Youth Voter Festival, organized by the Union Election Commission and the IFES Myanmar office. The festival was held to inform and motivate young people to vote in Myanmar’s upcoming elections. The 2020 elections are anticipated for November, and it is expected that there will be around 5 million first-time youth voters casting their ballots. The festival included a mock polling station where young people could check their names on a mock voter list and proceed through a mock polling station to familiarize first-time voters with the polling process. Musical acts performed while the young people discussed elections with one another and representatives from civil society organizations that work to promote inclusive elections.
"In Myanmar, IFES is working in part to make sure that all underrepresented communities – youth, women, people with disabilities – have an opportunity to participate in the political life of their country." – Tony Banbury, IFES President and CEO
IFES works around the world to promote the inclusion of underrepresented groups in the electoral process, including young voters, to have their voice heard in who governs them. With nearly half of the world’s population 25 years of age or younger, engaging youth in politics and the electoral process is key to building democratic stability. IFES collaborates with election management bodies and civil society to ensure that young people are integrated throughout the electoral cycle. IFES is also working more broadly in Myanmar to ensure that women and persons with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in political life as voters, representatives and poll workers.