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Wednesday, 16 May, 2001, 11:43 GMT
'Get me to the ballot box'
One down, 12,999,999 to go. BBC News Online users have scored a triumph against apathy by persuading one avowed non-voter to change her mind.
On Monday, Joanne Smith, a 26-year-old bank cashier from Kettering, Northamptonshire, set out her reasons why she wouldn't be voting at the forthcoming general election.
She is one of an estimated 13 million people who, according to some academics, will stay away from the ballot box on 7 June. The figure is considered to be abnormally high.
With this in mind, we asked you to try to change Joanne's intentions.
The e-mail response was overwhelming and having heard a selection of your arguments, Joanne has been persuaded. She will be voting on 7 June, although currently she is not sure for which party.
These are Joanne's original reasons for staying at home on polling day.
Why I won't be voting, by Joanne Smith:
"I voted last year, but I can't remember who for. My housemate kept on at me, talking about how Suffragettes died for us so we could vote. She had to drag me down to the polling station. I think I voted once before as well.
"I've never really been interested in politics but maybe I should be. I think [politicians] need to communicate better although I'm not sure how. Maybe the fact that I'm single, I don't have any children, I'm not in and out of hospital, explains why politics doesn't have much impact on me."
Some of your (persuasive) arguments and Joanne's responses.
Joanne: "At the end of the day, I've got to look after myself. I suppose I am being selfish"
Joanne: "I agree with that one. That's a very powerful point."
Joanne: "I use the buses quite a lot to get around in Kettering - I don't have a car. They are late sometimes, but generally they're quite good. I've no complaints to be honest."
Joanne: "I agree. Animal welfare and the Third World are important issues. I'm not sure about the athletes though."
Joanne: "Good point."
Joanne: "I haven't a clue what's going on with the economy at the moment and that hasn't caused me any problems at work."
Joanne: "Yes, I saw what happened in America. It didn't make me think that everyone's got to use their vote. I just thought their election had been badly administered."
Joanne: "That's a bit extreme. I can see what they're saying but we've all got a right to vote. I just don't think about politics as much as some people. That doesn't mean I'm stupid."
Joanne's verdict: "Having gone through all that, I've decided that I will vote. There were some strong arguments that have made me think more than I would have otherwise. I will vote, but I don't know who for yet. I'll definitely pay more attention to the campaign; watch the news more."
Watch out for another "Persuade Me to Vote" candidate soon.
14 May 01 | Vote2001
Persuade me to vote
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