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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 December 2006, 09:50 GMT
New Year's voting resolution plea
Senedd
The third assembly elections are to take place in May
People in Wales are being urged to make registering to vote a "positive New Year's resolution" for 2007.

Around 130,000 people across Wales are not currently registered to vote, according to the Electoral Commission.

The body says voting gives a voice in May's assembly elections and the chance to impact on daily life.

Meanwhile, AMs have revealed their 2007 resolutions, which include first minister Rhodri Morgan's pledge to resume jogging.

Plaid Cymru assembly leader Ieuan Wyn Jones listed more recycling as his wish for the new year while Welsh Conservative party leader Nick Bourne said he aimed to do more walking.

Lib Dem AM Peter Black's resolution is "to get re-elected".

Others, including Independent Blaenau Gwent AM Trish Law and Labour's Lorraine Barrett, say they will campaign to get people to use their vote.

Rhodri Morgan
Rhodri Morgan, who turns 68 in 2007, plans to take up jogging again

The third elections since the assembly was set up in 1999 take place on 3 May 2007.

The independent Electoral Commission's mission is to foster public confidence and participation in the UK's democratic process.

Kay Jenkins, Head of its Wales office, said registering to vote was "one of the most important things you can do in 2007."

"It means you have the option of influencing decisions which impact on your daily life, such as the quality of schools and hospitals."

Even though they want vote registration to be a high priority for 2007, Ms Jenkins said people can actually register to vote or amend their details on the electoral register at any time of the year, and up to eleven days before the election.

She said: "The start of the new year is the perfect time to do it if you haven't already done so."

These are the New Year's Resolutions for Welsh AMs canvassed by the commission:

  • First Minister Rhodri Morgan: "Next year I would like to take up jogging again."
  • Ieuan Wyn Jones, Plaid Cymru assembly leader: "I plan to do more recycling and to improve energy efficiency in my home."
  • Nick Bourne, Welsh Conservative leader: "I aim to do more walking in the Cambrian Mountains and along the coast in Wales."
  • Trish Law, Indep AM Blaenau Gwent: "I'm going to rely less on take-aways and find time to do more cooking in my new kitchen. I shall also endeavour to keep my other office, my car, in clean and tidy order. I am going to campaign to get people, especially young people, to turn out to vote on 3 May . Naturally I want them to vote for me, but the important thing is that they exercise their basic democratic right and cast their vote."
  • Jenny Randerson, Lib Dem AM Cardiff Central: "I'm resolving to take every opportunity to talk to young people to persuade them they need to use their vote."
  • Lorraine Barrett, Labour AM Cardiff South and Penarth: "My new year resolution is to encourage people to register to vote and to use that vote. By registering to vote, people can make a difference, particularly for animals who have no voice and no vote."
  • Jocelyn Davies, Plaid AM South Wales East: "Next year I want to read more fiction, so have asked for plenty of books on my Christmas list to get me started!"
  • Mark Isherwood, Conservative AM North Wales: "To act responsibly to society and to family and friends, recognising that solutions are impossible unless problems are acknowledged and that causes as well as symptoms must be treated."
  • Peter Black, Lib Dem AM South Wales West: "My New Year's resolution is to get re-elected!"



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