SNP MSP Stuart McMillan is backing a new campaign which aims to encourage all 15-17 year olds who will be eligible to vote for the first time in the Scottish Parliament election scheduled for May 2016 to now register.
The initiative is part of a wider campaign that has been launched nationally across Scotland by the Electoral Commission.
The rules on the voting age in Scotland have now changed meaning that, for the first time 16 and 17 year olds will be eligible to take part in elections to the Scottish Parliament and at local elections in Scotland.
SNP MSP McMillan said:
“One of last the greatest achievements of year’s independence referendum was to extend the franchise to young adults. Young people grasped the opportunity to become involved in the democratic process with both hands.
“Lowering of the voting age in Scotland means that 15-17 year olds can now be included on the electoral register. Not everyone may know about this change which is why I am promoting the Electoral Commission’s campaign to raise awareness and to encourage registration.
“It’s really important that those who will be 16 or 17 by next May don’t miss out on having their say because they didn’t know that they could register to now vote or because they don’t know how to register to vote.
“As well as contacting the Electoral registration office on Glasgow Road in Paisley on 0300 300 0150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, constituents in Greenock & Inverclyde can also contact my office on 01475 720 930 if they have any questions or need any help.
“I was proud to vote for the Bill in the Scottish Parliament to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in Scottish elections.
“Scotland’s youth proved during last year’s referendum that they are just as politically aware as their peers, and deserve the opportunity to vote for who represents them in Parliament.”
Andy O’Neill, Head of Scotland Office at the Electoral Commission said:
“At the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, we saw that young people are politically engaged and that they want to vote. But to be able to take part in elections, you must be registered. It’s easy to apply to register online now at http://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote in just a few minutes.”