Last week’s vote on stage 3 of the Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Bill was overwhelmingly backed in the Scottish Parliament by 103 votes to 12.
The SNP have 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 Westminster.
Dr McLeod commented:
“Scotland’s Parliament has sent out the message loudly and clearly that 16 and 17 year olds should have the right to shape the country they live in. The progressive legislation the Scottish Parliament has passed is a forward-looking reform that I am proud to have voted for.
“When 16 and 17 year olds can pay taxes, get married and joined the armed forces, it is only right and fair that they should also be entitled to vote.
“Democracy in Scotland has taken a step forward by giving 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 is on offer with a Yes vote in next year’s referendum.
“A Yes vote will give us the chance to build upon last week’s step forward and go further still by ensuring that 16 and 17 year olds are enfranchised in every vote in Scotland.”