Electoral Commission to use Snapchat to attract young voters

Local issues should be at the heart of next month's council elections, not the constitutional politics. Picture: John Devlin
Local issues should be at the heart of next month's council elections, not the constitutional politics. Picture: John Devlin
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The Electoral Commission has enlisted social media app Snapchat in an attempt to encourage young voters to register for the local government elections.

A new voter registration “geofilter” has been launched to remind users to register for the May 4 vote before the deadline on Monday April 17.

Snapchat are adding a new 'geofilter' option. Picture: Contributed

Snapchat are adding a new 'geofilter' option. Picture: Contributed

The filter, or art overlay, can be added to images taken and shared through the social network.

Next month marks the first Scotland-wide set of council elections that 16 and 17-year-olds are eligible to vote in but research by the Electoral Commission shows that young people are less likely to be registered than older voters.

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Only 69 per cent of 18-34 year-olds are correctly registered across Britain compared to 96 per cent of those aged 65 and over.

Andy O’Neill, head of the Electoral Commission in Scotland, said: “Working with Snapchat gives us a fantastic opportunity to reach a typically under-registered audience and let young people in Scotland know that they can use their voice in these elections.

“However, they need to be registered by April 17. It only takes a few minutes to register at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

The commission is also working with social networks Facebook and Nextdoor to encourage voter registration.