Politics

Amsterdam investigates why so few people bothered to vote in March

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Amsterdam city council has commissioned research to try to find out why so many Amsterdammers did not vote during the March local elections. Just 46% of voters in the capital turned out to cast their ballot for a new city council.

The research, carried out by the University of Amsterdam and Inholland University of Applied Sciences, involves setting up focus groups to discuss the different perspectives and experiences of non-voters – and two will centre on members of the international community.

Research by the ICAP and Dutch News showed that a large proportion of international voters were not aware that they could vote before the election took place.

Amsterdam’s new coalition agreement states that the city will continue to look for the best way to give all Amsterdam residents and initiatives a say in local affairs.

‘Politics is about more than just voting,’ said Floris Vermeulen, of the UvA, who is leading the project. ‘We need to find out how Amsterdammers relate to certain social issues and how they view politics, and to find out about their experiences in trying to influence political decisions.’

As well as internationals, the project will look at the experiences of first time voters, people with an ethnic minority background and people who do not have a university or college degree.

If you would like to contribute to this report, please contact editor@dutchnews.nl. Your contribution will be anonymous and the sessions are scheduled to take place late July or early August.

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