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Young people in Caithness are encouraged to register to vote during Welcome to Your Vote week


By David G Scott

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This week (January 24-30 ) 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.

Welcome to Your Vote poster.
Welcome to Your Vote poster.

The Highland youth convener Anja Johnston is hoping Welcome To Your Vote week spurs on young people to get registered so they can take part in the May Local Government elections.

She said: “Young people are the voices of the future. In Scotland we are in a privileged position of allowing 16+ year olds to vote in local government elections. This week, we really want to encourage young people to find out more about the democratic process and to understand just how much their vote counts in ensuring the issues that matter to them reach the voices who can make change."

In Scotland, young people who are 16 or over can vote in a number of elections – including the Local Government Election which will take place on Thursday 5th May 2022. This election will decide who represents local communities on the Highland Council for the next five years. By using their vote and taking part in this election, young people can help shape decision-making about all sorts of local services in their own communities.

If you will be 16 or over by the time of the Local Government Election in May, and want to know more about how you can get involved, check out resources for 14-18 year olds at – www.electoralcommission.org.uk/welcome-your-vote/resources-14-18-year-olds

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 – www.electoralcommission.org.uk/welcome-your-vote

Although you have to be 16 to vote at the May Local Government Elections you can register to vote at the age of 14. To register to vote anyone aged 14 and over can register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote Alternatively, you can contact the Electoral Registration Officer on 0800 393 783 to request a paper application form.

If you are already registered and wish to apply for a postal or proxy vote please visit www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter


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