Saturday, 12 October 2013

Register to vote at the Independence Referendum



Electoral Registration officers in Ayrshire have begun compiling the list of voters who will have their say at next year’s Independence referendum – and for the first time it will include young adults aged 16 and 17.

Cunninghame South MSP Margaret Burgess told the3towns, “The SNP has long been in favour of giving 16 and 17 year-olds the right to vote in all elections, and I urge all of our young people who will be 16 or over on September 18 next year to make sure they are on the electoral roll so they can have their say on Scotland’s future.”

Mrs Burgess said it “seems reasonable” that 16 and 17 year-olds should have the right to shape the country they live in.  “When they can pay taxes, get married and join the armed forces, it is only right and fair that they should also be entitled to vote.

“The extended registration process giving 16 and 17 year-olds the right to vote in 2014 is thanks to the progressive legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament, but we in the SNP are clear that this should be the norm for every election, which is one of the clear gains that are on offer with a Yes vote in next year’s referendum.”

The move was also welcomed by SNP councillor Ruth Maguire, North Ayrshire Council’s Youth Champion, who encouraged all 16 and 17 year-olds to make sure they are on the register and eligible to vote.  Our political system needs to recognise the abilities of 16 and 17 year-olds by properly including them in the democratic process and showing the trust and respect Scottish society has in them,” said Cllr Maguire.

Throughout October and November, Electoral Registration officers will be contacting all households in North Ayrshire to check the names of those who are eligible to register for a vote.  Anyone who will be 16 by the time of the referendum on September 18 2014 is entitled to register.  This can be done by completing the registration form coming through local letterboxes or online at aboutmyvote.co.uk.

The Young Voter registration form should be used for anyone who is currently 15 but will be 16 on or before September 18 2014. Anyone who will be 17 or over on the date of the referendum should use the ordinary registration form.

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