Scotland politics

Scottish referendum: Vote registration begins for those 16 and older

Ballot boxes
Image caption Voters go to the polls on Thursday, 18 September, 2014

Teenagers who will be 16 or older when next year's independence referendum is held can now register to take part.

It is the first time in a UK political vote that people under the age of 18 have been allowed to participate.

People who are registered to vote in Scotland will have the opportunity to go to the polls on Thursday, 18 September, next year.

They will be asked the straight "yes/no" question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

Electoral registration officers will now begin gathering information for the roll which will be used for the referendum.

In addition to the usual household registration forms, people will also be given young voter forms to allow details to be collected of everyone who will be aged 16 and 17 on referendum day.

Andy O'Neill, head of the Electoral Commission's Scotland office, said: "If you want to have your say at the referendum, you need to be on the electoral register.

"Whoever completes the household registration form should also take the time to think about whether there's anyone in the household who will be 16 or 17 on 18 September 2014 and if so, put their details on the young voter form."

The Electoral Commission has launched an advertising campaign on radio and Facebook.

It has also been working with educational bodies the Association of Directors in Education Scotland, Education Scotland and School Leaders Scotland to help co-ordinate work in schools.

Mr O'Neill said: "We're supporting the work registration officers are doing locally by launching a campaign to raise awareness that anyone who will be sixteen on 18 September, 2014, can register to vote.

"Teachers can play an important part in helping raise awareness and we'd encourage anyone else that works with young people to help spread the message by using the resources we're making available at aboutmyvote.co.uk."

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