A young voter registration form that will give young people the right to have their say on the opportunity of independence for Scotland has been endorsed after independent testing, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed today.
The Young Voter Registration form was developed by the Scottish Government to enable eligible 15-year-olds to register for the forthcoming vote on independence, as part of the Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Bill. Those already 16 or 17 will be registered through the standard annual canvas form.
Ipsos MORI tested the form with 40 households and found that it worked well. Participants were generally positive about the layout and found it easy to complete.
The Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Bill offers young people – those with the biggest stake in Scotland’s future – the opportunity to vote for an independent country where the most important decisions on economic prosperity and social justice are taken by those that live and work in Scotland.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“Our young people have a massive stake in the future prosperity and success of Scotland and the young voter registration form is an important step in enabling them to take up their right to vote in the referendum.
“Registration will enable youngsters to have their say in the most important vote to be held in Scotland for three centuries. It will encourage their engagement and participation in the democratic process.
“Independent tests have found the form works well and this autumn it will be issued to households along with the standard household canvass to ensure those eligible can register. This is another positive step towards next year’s referendum, in which 16 and 17 year olds will be given the opportunity to shape Scotland’s future.
“Our young people can marry, have children and pay taxes at 16, which is why this Government believes it’s important that they are given the right to vote on the future of the country in which they live.
“It is a straight choice. An independent country where we make the big decisions affecting our future here in Scotland, and are able to take the opportunities in front of us, or leave our destiny to be determined remotely. It is a choice about the type of country we want Scotland to be and just as young people are eager to take decisions about their own lives, I am confident that young people will want to take responsibility for shaping Scotland’s future.”