Young voters prepare for referendum

Christian Allard MSP.
Christian Allard MSP.

Almost 12,000 under-18s in Grampian have registered to take part in the Scottish independence referendum.

The vote on September 18 is the first time that 16 and 17 year-olds have been allowed to take part and Aberdeenshire East MSP Alex Salmond has welcomed the news that thousands of young people will take part in the historic decision.

The Grampian Electoral Registration Officer said that as of mid-August 11,751 electors who will be under the age of 18 on September 18 had registered to vote.

Mr Salmond said: “It is fantastic news that so many young people in the north-east are taking the opportunity of getting involved in such a defining moment in Scotland’s history.

“There are still a few days to register to vote and we want as many young people as possible to have their say in the referendum.

“Scotland’s Future is in everyone’s hands and when the people of Scotland head to the polls on September 18, creating opportunities for growth and employment for our young people will be at the forefront of their minds.

“It is very fitting that these young people will have their voice heard.”

Those wishing to vote in person on September 18 have until Tuesday, September 2, to register with their local electoral registration office. The first postal ballots have now been sent out and anyone who requires to vote by post should return an application form to their local electoral registration office by 5pm on Wednesday, September 3.

Mr Salmond added: “Young people are at the heart of this debate and by voting they can help to build a better country.

“We have an opportunity to use Scotland’s immense wealth to build a fairer and more prosperous nation, including the creation of more jobs for our young people.”

Mr Allard said: “Young people in the north-east of Scotland have shown that they want to be very much a part of this referendum.

“The No campaign is determined to bombard voters with the patronising message that young people are too busy on their phones to take an interest in politics which is simply not the case.

“Since last year’s mock youth referendum in Aberdeenshire, it is clear that young people in the north-east have woken up to the fact that this is our one opportunity to safeguard Scotland’s future for generations to come.”