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Scottish Independence: Teenage vote registry opens

Teenagers who will be 16 at the time of the referendum can register to vote. Picture: Reuters

Teenagers who will be 16 at the time of the referendum can register to vote. Picture: Reuters

Teenagers who will be 16 or older when next year’s independence referendum is held can register to take part in the historic vote from today.

Unlike Holyrood or UK general elections, in which the voting age is 18, those who are 16 or above on September 18 next year are eligible to vote.

Electoral registration officers will be canvassing residents across Scotland. As well as the usual household registration forms, people will also be given young voter forms, to allow details to be collected of everyone who will be aged 16 and 17 on referendum day.

Andy O’Neill, head of the Electoral Commission’s Scotland office, said: “If you want to have your say at the referendum, you need to be on the electoral register. Whoever completes the household registration form should also take the time to think about whether there’s anyone in the household who will be 16 or 17 on 18 September 2014 and if so, put their details on the young voter form.”

Important part

The Electoral Commission has launched an advertising campaign on radio and Facebook. It has also been working with educational bodies the Association of Directors in Education Scotland, Education Scotland and School Leaders Scotland to help co-ordinate work in schools.

Mr O’Neill said: “We’re supporting the work registration officers are doing locally by launching a campaign to raise awareness that anyone who will be sixteen on 18 September 2014 can register to vote.

“Teachers can play an important part in helping raise awareness and we’d encourage anyone else that works with young people to help spread the message by using the resources we’re making available at aboutmyvote.co.uk.”

 

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