16 and 17 year olds are urged to vote

St Ninians High pupils Kieran Crumlish (16) and Florence Kairns (16) with Lorraine McMillan, East Renfrewshires returning officer
St Ninians High pupils Kieran Crumlish (16) and Florence Kairns (16) with Lorraine McMillan, East Renfrewshires returning officer

The 2016 Scottish Parliament election is the first parliamentary election in which 16 and 17 year olds can vote.

And East Ren Council is reminding all local youngsters of that age to make sure they register in time.

A campaign, which is being run in partnership with education bodies and local councils across Scotland, aims to ensure that as many 16 and 17 year olds are registered and able to vote at the Scottish Parliament election on May 5.

More than 75 per cent of 16 and 17 year olds surveyed after the Scottish independence referendum said they had voted in the referendum and 97 per cent of those who had voted said they would vote again in future polls.

However, they must register by April 18 if they want to take part in May’s Scottish Parliament election.

Lorraine McMillan, East Renfrewshire’s returning officer said: “It’s important that young people who are 16 and 17 don’t miss out on having their say because they didn’t know that they could register or because they don’t know how to register.

“To be able to take part in elections, you must be registered. It’s easy to apply to register online now at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote in just a few minutes.”

Andy O’Neill, Head of the Electoral Commission in Scotland said: “It’s not long now until the Scottish Parliament election and we don’t want young people to miss out on having their say just because they aren’t registered.

“With so many 16 and 17 year olds still in school this campaign is a great opportunity to take the registration message to them and make it as easy as possible for them to register.”