It has been announced that 16 and 17 year olds will be able to vote in the referendum on Scottish independence that will take place on the 18th September 2014.
Organisations like Young Scot and the Scottish Youth Parliament have been arguing that 16 and 17 year olds should be allowed to vote on election day. Alex Salmond and David Cameron met on the 15th October 2012 to discuss the terms of the referendum, and showed their agreement for votes at 16 by making this policy.
How we got there - Votes at 16
The Scottish Government proposed that the voting age could be lowered for the independence referendum and the SYP started campaigning in support of this proposal. Here is what happened.
SYP believes it’s absolutely fundamental that all 16 and 17 years old should be allowed to vote in the referendum, followed by all other elections and referendums in Scotland. To find out why, click here.
If you think that the voting age should be lowered to 16 for all elections and referendums in Scotland, why not see if those that represent you in the Scottish Parliament would like to show their support as well? It's easy to write to the MSPs that represent your local area and easy for them to show their support! Click here for a quick way to write to them and ask for their support.
The Scottish Government is proposing to lower the voting age for the independence referendum. This is a golden opportunity for Votes at 16 in Scotland, and campaigners hope it will be followed by all elections in Scotland. To make Votes at 16 a reality, politicians need to be convinced that this is what Scotland’s young people want, as well as to convince the UK Government to transfer the power to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in the referendum. To take part in the consultation online, click here.
You might hear people talking about a 'false franchise' or 'Votes at 16 3/4'. Some people say that “the Scottish Government aren't offering Votes at 16!" It relates to some technicalities with the way voter registration works, and the SYP along with several other organisations are already looking at this. They’re actively encouraging the Scottish and UK Governments to work together to tackle any issues and make sure that all 16 and 17 year olds will be able to vote. Click here to find out what the issues are.
Votes at 16 is not a new campaign for SYP – they’ve been firmly in favour of lowering the voting age for years. Find out what they’ve done before.