Voters urged to register for Holyrood election

Thousands of people wiped from the electoral register at the end of the transition to a new system are being urged to reclaim their spot ahead of the Holyrood election.

Voters are being asked to make sure they are registered ahead of this year's Scottish parliamentary election. Image: Lisa Ferguson

The Electoral Commission have launched a campaign titled ‘Don’t lose it!’ to encourage voter registration in time for the April 18 deadline.

A recent report showed that 73,000 entries had been removed from the electoral registers in Scotland in December 2015 at the end of the transition to a new system of voter registration.

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The report also found that, while it was not possible to determine how many of these entries accounted for eligible electors, it is likely that some of the removed entries related to electors who were eligible to remain registered to vote.

The Scottish parliament election on May 5 will be the first in which 16 and 17-year-olds can vote.

As part of the campaign a voter information guide is to be sent to every household in Scotland targeting young people and those who have either recently moved house or live in rented accommodation.

Adverts will also be carried on TV, radio and social media.

The commission said its campaign to register voters in the months before last year’s UK General Election led to more than 1.5 million additions to the electoral register.

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Andy O’Neill, head of the Electoral Commission in Scotland, said: “Our research shows that young people, students, and recent home movers are less likely to be registered to vote.

“If you’re not registered by the deadline of April 18 then you won’t be able to have your say on issues that directly affect everyone’s day-to-day lives in Scotland.

“Registering to vote at is really easy and only takes a few minutes.”