The SYP has a firm belief that one of the best ways of getting involved in making decisions is through the ballot box. Through our work we’ve seen many capable, confident and well-informed 16 and 17 year olds who have a real interest in politics, but are unable to play their full part as citizens by exercising their democratic rights on election day.
The Scottish Government has proposed that the voting age could be lowered for the independence referendum. At the SYP’s March 2012 Sitting, MSYPs overwhelmingly voted to make Votes at 16 SYP’s priority national campaign through the spring to tie in with the UK and Scottish Government’s consultation on the referendum process.
This is the possibly the closest we’ve ever been to Votes at 16 being made a reality, but to convince those who don’t think young people should be heard, and aren’t up to voting we need young people to speak up and change their minds!
There’s loads of ways you can get involved in our Votes at 16 campaign, and with your help, we’ll hopefully get the voting age lowered – not just for the referendum, but for every election that follows it!
Why Should There Be Votes at 16?
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.
Write to your MSPs!
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.
Sign the e-Petition!
As the laws relating to who can vote in elections and referendums are currently reserved to the UK Parliament. Ross Greer MSYP has created an e-Petition on the UK Government’s website. If over 100,000 people sign this petition Votes at 16 could be debated at Westminster. Click here to sign the petition now and ask other to do the same!
Respond to the Scottish Government’s Consultation!
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 hopefully to be followed by all elections in Scotland that follow.To make Votes at 16 a reality, they 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.
Votes at 16 and the Referendum – Voter Registration Issues
Whilst you've been out campaigning you might hear people talking about a 'false franchise' or 'Votes at 16 3/4'. When you ask people to support votes at 16 for the referendum, and other elections, they might say "but the Scottish Government aren't offering Votes at 16!" Don't panic! It relates to some technicalities with the way voter registration works, and SYP along with several other organisations are on the case! We're actively encouraging the Scottish and UK Governments to work together to iron out any issues and make sure that all 16 and 17 year olds can vote in the referendum when it comes. Click here to find out what the issues are.
SYP and Votes at 16 – A Campaigning History
Votes at 16 is not a new campaign for SYP – we’ve been firmly in favour of lowering the voting age for years. Click here to find out some of the things we’ve done in the past.