Lowering the voting age to 16 was a seminal moment on a historic day for Scottish democracy. For the first time, 16 and 17 year olds will be able to have their say at a national level on the way forward for Scotland.
We believe it’s entirely right the young people who are the future of Scotland should have their say on Scotland’s constitutional future. Allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote shows society believes these young people, who can marry, work, and join the army, are capable of being fully active citizens.
At a time when far too often young people are ignored or vilified by society, this is a very positive step demonstrating 16 and 17 year olds are valuable citizens whose hopes and ideas deserve to be heard.
It’s crucial all 16 year olds are given the chance to vote on this issue. The Scottish Youth Parliament, together with NUS Scotland, have urged the UK and Scottish Governments to work together to ensure the correct registration processes are in place to allow votes at 16. We pledge to continue to work with all parties to ensure every 16 year old is able to cast their vote on Scotland’s future.
The Scottish Youth Parliament’s core belief is the views of young people deserve to be engaged with.
That’s why we’ve campaigned for votes at 16 for over a decade. We’re delighted our call has been listened to, but this is a process not an event, and we hope today’s decision paves the way for votes at 16 in all future elections.
Chair, Scottish Youth Parliament