South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed news that young people
who will be 16 or over in next year’s referendum can now register to
take part.

The SNP has long been in favour of giving 16 and 17 year olds the right
to vote in all elections and has already made this possible in elections
it has the power to change the franchise of such as health board
elections. The power to enable 16 and 17 year olds to vote in local
government and Scottish Parliament elections remains reserved to

Electoral registration officers have begun gathering information for the
electoral roll which will be used for the referendum. In addition to 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.

Welcoming the news, Ms McAlpine commented:

“I want to encourage all of our young people who will be 16 or over on
September 18th next year to make sure they are on the electoral role so
they can have their say on Scotland’s future.

“I believe that 16 and 17 year olds should have the right to shape the
country they live in – particularly 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 start of the registration process is thanks to the progressive
legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament that gives 16 and 17 year
olds the right to participate in next year’s referendum – but we in the
SNP are clear that this should be the norm for every election.

“Securing the power to give 16 and 17 year olds the vote at every
election is one of the clear gains that are on offer with a Yes vote in
next year’s referendum.”