The activist campaign ‘#ruiljestempas’ (literally, “trade your vote”) was launched by the action group Youth Vote Exchange which consisted of Asja Keeman, Pola Derks van de Ven and myself. The mission behind the campaign was to make people think about the value of our right to vote. Youth in particular (under the age of 25), make little use of this right. #Ruiljestempas was a platform on Facebook where people with no interest to vote, could exchange their voting pass for a product or service they thought was worth more than their voting pass. The campaign made clever use of the system of the Certificate of Authorization (Volmachtbewijs). This means that you can vote for someone else who isn’t able to vote for themselves.
We launched the campaign one week before the Provincial State Election of 2015 in a press-release, which was send to several Dutch media. The national hype around our campaign meant we quickly caught the attention of the electoral council (Kiesraad). When they told us to “stop the campaign”, we knew we hit a sensitive nerve.
The campaign became a national media hype, which triggered a debate about the value of our right to vote as well as the system of the Certificate of Authorization. Finally we ended up in The Hague where we were invited to engage in a discussion with the Dutch political leader Manon Fokke from the PVDA.
The Facebook page #ruiljestempas and thereby the campaign was taken offline as of 5:30 p.m. on Thursday the 12th of March 2015, two days after the launch.
The online activist campaign #ruiljestempas was awarded by Stroom, Zefir and BNO (Beroeps Nederlandse Ontwerpers) as “De Beste Ontwerp studenten 2015” during the ArtEZ graduation finals: Dreams Need Air 2015.