Young people across the Highlands are encouraged to register to vote during Welcome to Your Vote week
This week (30 January – 5 February) is Welcome to Your Vote week which is the ideal time to start conversations with young people about democracy, politics, and all aspects of voting.
The Electoral Commission has created a set of online resources for young people, and those who work with them, to get the discussion started and help young people find out how to get and use their vote. This includes an overview of government and responsibilities at all levels, information about campaigns and how they work, and how young people can get involved in democracy.
Remember to register to vote
If you’re not registered, you can’t vote. It’s as simple as that. In Scotland, you can register to vote when you’re 14. But you can only start to vote in some elections when you turn 16.
Luckily, you don’t need to register before every election.
You need to register if:
- you’ve never registered to vote before
- you’ve just become old enough to register
The Electoral Registration Officer will send you a letter to confirm when your name will be added to the electoral register.
You need to register to vote again if:
- you’ve moved house recently
- you’ve changed your name for any reason
You’ll stay registered to vote as long as you live at that address and don’t change your name. When you become old enough to vote in different elections, your record will be updated automatically.
Registering to vote takes just five minutes if you do it online. If you’re 16 or older, all you’ll need is your National Insurance number. If you’re under 16, you won’t be asked to supply a National Insurance number.
To register to vote visit https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote Alternatively, you can contact the Electoral Registration Officer on 0800 393 783 and ask for a paper application form.
If you work with young people and want to start conversations with them about democracy and voting, you can find out more at Welcome to your vote -
The Highland Youth Convener Caitlyn Munro hopes that Welcome To Your Vote week ignites more interest, participation in politics whereby young people get registered to vote so they can take part in any upcoming elections.
She said: “Young people are our future. This week we really want to encourage young people to find out more about the democratic process and to understand that their vote is just as important. I hope that young people see how simple the voting process is and that voting ensures the issues that matter to them reach the voices who can make change.”
Also helping to promote the opportunity to register to vote, especially among young people, is the Election Teams apprentice Kyle Manson.
He added: “The message is that by taking a few minutes to register now, people will be able to actively take part in elections and make their vote count – Your Vote Is Your Voice. Further information can be obtained from The Highland Council’s new dedicated Young Voters webpage “
If you are already registered to vote and wish to apply for a postal or proxy vote please visit https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter for further information.