Electoral reform consultation opens

Views sought to strengthen democracy.

Expanding candidacy rights to 16 and 17 year olds is one of a number of electoral reforms being considered in a consultation launched today.

Following the lowering of the voting age to 16 in devolved Scottish elections, the consultation asks about changing the age of candidacy from the current minimum of 18 to allow young people to stand for election.

Views are also being sought on how best to encourage all those eligible to register to vote, especially among under-represented groups and on measures to protect the privacy of candidates addresses.

Other proposals in the consultation include extending candidacy rights to foreign nationals who already have the right to vote, and measures to improve the accessibility of voting, including for voters with sight loss.

Minister for Parliamentary Business George Adam said:

“A robust electoral system is fundamental to the success of Scotland being an inclusive and vibrant democracy that makes everyone feel included and empowered.

“It is important as many people in our society as possible feel they have an effective and independent means to hold government to account and also feel encouraged take an active interest in politics and civic life.

“The measures set out in this consultation are wide-ranging and include key questions on how best to improve the accessibility of elections and to promote electoral registration. We will consider all responses very carefully before deciding on our next steps.”

Take part in the consultation

Read the Scottish Government's consultation paper on electoral reform


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