This feature was contributed by O2′s Craig Smith…

NEWSFLASH!!! Guys, it turns out you can’t just turn up to a polling station and vote in a general election. Who knew?! You have to register first AND there’s less than a week left to get it done. (As if life wasn’t stressful enough, urgh). It can feel like a bit of a chore, but JME has been putting loads of effort into trying to convince our generation to get online and register. So, if you don’t do it for a particular political party, at least do it for the love of grime MCs, alright?

Here’s 16 other (non-BBK-related) reasons why you should register to vote…

1. It’s FREE!

And let’s be honest nothing much is free anymore…

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2. It’s an excuse to moan (come on, we all love a good moan).

If you don’t register, or you don’t vote, you CANNOT moan!

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3. Taxes!!! (stay with us)

When you eventually get a job (with a bit of help from GTB) you’ll start paying taxes (urgh) and the government decides how these are going to be spent (education, health, employment, etc.) This is your chance to decide where the hard earned cash that you never see actually goes…

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4. You’ll get your voice heard

Let’s face it, we are the future. So it’s up to us to make decisions about what the world will look like when we’re older.

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5. Not voting is NOT anti-establishment

Spoiler alert: the establishment don’t want you to vote!

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6. You can bust some stereotype butt

Only half of all 16-24 year olds in the UK are registered to vote*

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7. Not voting makes it easier for politicians to ignore you

And, hello!!! There’ a few things we’d like sorted out by the people with all the money and power.

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8. You don’t HAVE to choose a party to vote for

Don’t like any of the political parties? You can always spoil your ballot – now that’s making a statement!

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9. People died for your right to vote.

We know you’ve probably heard it a million times before, but it’s true.

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10. It helps your credit rating (whatever that means)

Like your phone? Want to buy a place to live someday? Think you might need a loan at some point? It’s way harder to be seen as ‘reliable’ by people like banks and phone companies if you’re credit score is crap. Being on the electoral register can help.

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11. A chance to stick it to the elderly (sorry Granny)

Maybe that’s a bit aggressive. But if you feel like the government are constantly attacking young people… that’s true. And it’s because we don’t vote! Politicians don’t tend to make policies that help out people who don’t vote for them.

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12. Some countries still don’t have the right to vote.

This is a chance to appreciate what you’ve got! Don’t waste it.

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13. They might all seem the same, but it’s actually easy to spot the differences in political parties

Before you dismiss politics altogether, do you really know what the political parties stand for? You can do a quiz to find out whose policies you actually agree with, here.

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14. You voted for Jedward when they were on The X Factor

You’re better than that.

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15. Nothing changes otherwise!

Listen to the Selena Gomez GIF, and get on with it.

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16. It only takes five minutes

just do it shia

Grab your national insurance number and hit this link to sort your political life out.

http://bitetheballot.co.uk/why/

If you were interested in this…

Stephanie is an O2 Think Big project leader. Her project aims to engage young people into politics through a 6 week programme. Find out more here