Edmonton MP Andy Love has written to secondary schools to encourage teenagers to register to vote.

People aged 16 and 17 can sign up to the electoral register ahead of their 18th birthday, after which they can vote in general and local elections.

In 2010, 44 per cent of 18-24 year olds voted, compared to 76 per cent of those ages 65 and over.

So in a bid to boost the figure, Mr Love put pen to paper to encourage school pupils in his constituency to sign up to the register ahead of National Voter Registration Day on Thursday.

He said: “We currently have dangerously low levels of democratic engagement, especially amongst young people, so it would be fantastic if we could turn that around and really boost the number of people on the electoral register.

“Being on the electoral register isn’t just about voting.  Parliamentary and council boundaries, drawn up using the electoral register, become undemocratic and unfair if swathes of people are missing from the register. It also ensures that as wide a cross-section of society as possible performs jury service.

“If the electoral register isn’t representative and people’s voices are missing, it has far reaching implications that don’t just stop at the next election. Please use the excuse of National Voter Registration Day to sign up to the electoral register.”