Big turnout expected for voter talks

MORE than 50 organisations are due to take part in a seminar at the Scottish Parliament on Friday on how to improve voter turnout.

The event has been jointly organised by Holyrood's local government and communities committee and the Scottish Government.

Among those attending will be representatives from the Scottish Youth Parliament, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, the Electoral Commission, Electoral Reform Society and Hansard Society Scotland.

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Labour MSP Duncan McNeil, convener of the local government and communities committee, and Bruce Crawford, the minister for parliamentary business, will address the seminar along with politics lecturer Dr Robert Johns.

Break-out groups will then discuss topics including turnout trends, the use of new media in encouraging civic participation and the role of electoral professionals in raising awareness of voter registration.

Mr Crawford said: "Voter turnout is an issue for any election.We need to consider how to improve turnout, what the difficulties are that have to be overcome and how we can fix the disconnect between voters and politicians."