Oxford City Council is struggling to cope after a sudden influx of student registrations to vote, sources within the Voter Registration Department have confirmed.
Reports suggest that the council was suddenly inundated with thousands of new applications last week, as students came to the realisation that democracy might actually have an impact on their lives.
“The situation is dire,” Hugh Gradgrind of the council’s Voter Registration Department told Cherwell. He continued, “My office is literally buckling under the weight of these new applications. We received about 12,000 last week, the vast majority from Oxford colleges. Budget cuts have exacerbated the issue; we simply no longer have the man-power to process all these registrations.”
Staff at the Voter Registration Department have reportedly been working around the clock in an attempt to register the new voters in time for the election.
“Clearly this must mean that students have taken a sudden, giant leap away from apathy,” student commentator Joe Smiles remarked. “It’s good to see that students are awakening from their WKD-induced inertia, and starting to realise that voting is a civic duty”.
Another historian recounted their realisation that voting could make a difference. “I remember it vividly. It was 1am and I was on the Park End cheese floor, when suddenly it came to me, like an epiphany,” second year Pembroke student Jeremy Hacksworthy recounted.
He continued, “I don’t know if it was the Jägerbombs, or the S Club 7, or perhaps a mixture of both, but suddenly it hit me, in my bleary-eyed vodka-fuelled haze, like a divinely-inspired vision: if I vote, especially in a marginal seat like Oxford East, I might actually make a difference, I might actually change the course of the election.”
Senior sources within the Oxford Conservatives have expressed dismay at the news. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior campaigner told Cherwell, “Our campaign strategy in Oxford revolved almost entirely around a goodly portion of students being deregistered. I remember chinking glasses when we heard OUSU despairing at low registration. Now all our efforts are in ruins.”
Academics have also reacted more negatively. “Typical Oxford students,” complained an Oriel lecturer. “Why is it that they must always leave submissions right up to the deadline?”