19 June 2015

Scottish Youth Parliament Press Office

Jordan Linden MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament welcomes the Scottish Parliament’s passing of the Scottish Elections (Reduction of Voting Age) Bill.

Jordan said:

“I am absolutely delighted that MSPs have unanimously supported lowering the voting age to 16 in time for the next Scottish Parliament elections through the Scottish Elections (Reduction of Voting Age) Bill. I believe this will have a hugely positive impact on the overall levels of engagement.

“The young people of Scotland proved, through their engagement in the referendum process, that they take their right to vote very seriously, and they have collectively dispelled all of the myths and arguments against a lowered voting age.

“I’m proud that young people’s enthusiasm and passion has been recognised, and that as a nation, we acknowledge that we should be encouraging young people to engage with politics and shape their own future by using their right to participate in democracy.

“As a result of this bill, more young people will get involved in the political system, and from an earlier age. Votes at 16 will help us truly harness young people’s enthusiasm for politics. We can strive to create a voter generation because we will be able to engage people younger, and keep them engaged throughout their lives, we hope, in the political system.

“As the democratically elected voice of Scotland’s young people, the Scottish Youth Parliament has always known that 16-and 17-year-olds are capable of making informed decisions when it comes to voting, and we have been campaigning for Votes at 16 since the start of our organisation in 1999. I hope that the passing of the Scottish Elections (Reduction of Voting Age) Bill will lead the way in encouraging votes at 16 in all UK elections and referendums.”