Sweden wants more voters for September elections

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The Swedish government, through its Agency for Youth and Civil Society, has provided grants to 20 organizations for the sake of getting more people to vote during national elections scheduled for September.

The money, a total of SEK 8.5m ($1.1m), will be spent on activities and information campaigns in areas, mostly with people of immigrant background,  where low voter turn-out has been observed.

According to the agency, focus will be put on people living in places with high unemployment and little or no education at all.

The government, in a directive to the agency, notes that there is a need to stimulate a higher turnout especially among population groups with low participation in previous general elections, such as young people, foreign-born and disabled persons, and in socio-economically weak areas. 

One of those areas is Rinkeby, a district in the Swedish capital where the population is of an overwhelmingly immigrant background.

– The turnout is extremely low in Rinkeby. We will gather people through workshops, efforts and show the benefits of voting in a choice, says Jörgen Strandberg, chairman of the Rinkeby Folkets hus who received money from the authority, according to Swedish Radio.

According to him, it is positive from two aspects, on the one hand that young people in these areas are employed at work, but also that they will disseminate important information about the elections.

Dahir Jeyte who lives in one of the suburbs of Stockholm told the station that he will vote in this year’s election, but that he also understands why those of foreign backgrounds vote to a lesser extent.
“It depends on different things, some do not have the knowledge of how to vote. Society needs to encourage these people and explain that it is important to vote, said Jeyte.