Scotland's Electoral Future consultation

Date: 9th April 2014
Category: Respect for the views of the child

The 'Scotland's Electoral Future' consultation paper asks for views on proposals to increase voter participation in Local Government and Scottish Parliament elections.

Opinions are being sought on a number of suggestions, including an extension of the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds in future elections. Those aged 16 and 17 are already eligible to vote in the independence referendum, as well as elections to public bodies in Scotland such as Health Boards.

This proposal could help to further Article 12 (the right to participate in decisions affecting a child) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in Scotland.

Other measures being explored through the consultation include the introduction of alternative means of voting, including universal postal voting, and online, telephone, and electronic machine voting. Opinions are also being sought on varying the order of candidates' names on ballot papers, in light of previous studies showing that candidates may be discriminated against under the current system of alphabetical listing.

The closing date is 12pm on 11th July 2014.

Increase in Scottish Electorate

The number of people registered to vote in elections in Scotland continued to rise, according to figures published by National Records of Scotland. The registered electorates for local councils, the Scottish Parliament, the UK Parliament and the European Parliament have all increased to their highest levels.

That means, with the exception of 2009, Scottish electorates have risen year on year since 2003.
On 10 March 2014 over 98,000 16 or 17 year olds had been registered to vote in the Independence Referendum This represents around 80% of the 16 and 17 year olds in Scotland.