A RECENT survey has revealed that most young people registered as voters because they felt obliged to fulfil their civic responsibility or were influenced by the mass media, not because they saw it as an opportunity to exercise their civic rights. The opinion poll, targeted at Cantonese-speaking youths aged between 18 and 25, was conducted by The Boys' and Girls' Clubs Association of Hong Kong in May and June to examine the reasons behind voter registration and the voters' objectives. By lowering the voting age from 21 to 18, the Governor's constitutional reform had given about 200,000 more people the right to vote, with 118,000 of them actually registering. However, most of the 1,041 young people among the 1,437 interviewed who had registered to vote said they did it because they were influenced by the mass media (27.7 per cent) or because they were obliged to fulfil their civic responsibility (27.7 per cent). Some 12.9 per cent registered to vote because they were influenced by family/schoolmates/peers, while only 105 (10.6 per cent) considered voting as executing one's civic rights. Among those who did not intend to register as voters, 86 out of 237 (36.2 per cent) said the reason was a lack of interest or political indifference, while 40 (16.9 per cent) said they did not have time to register and 24 (10.1 per cent) said they did not know much about elections. The findings show 599 (59.1 per cent) respondents, who had registered as voters, would be casting their ballots in the district elections next month, while 115 (11.3 per cent) had decided not to vote and 300 (29.6 per cent) were not sure. It was also found that those who registered because they felt it was their civic responsibility or to exercise their civic rights were more likely to vote than those influenced by the media or by peers. In view of the findings, the association suggested that civic education be focused on training students' judging ability and independent thinking. Daily experience should also be incorporated into civic education activities to make students aware that it is part of their life. An example is to allow students to get involved in school management through student associations. The association also recommended that the Government appoint more young people to serve on advisory boards and committees to gain practical experience in community affairs. In addition, it suggested that government propaganda on various levels of elections should provide accurate areas of responsibility to the public. The study also revealed the important role played by the mass media in conveying the picture of political development in Hong Kong and in the mainland to young people.