Scottish voter levels hit new record as teenagers register for referendum
The latest voter registration figures point to a high turnout in September’s referendum as the numbers applying to vote hits a record high.
Scotland’s electoral roll has risen to its highest ever level in the run-up to the referendum, with nearly 100,000 teenagers aged 16 and 17 given the right to vote for the first time registering for the referendum.
The latest statistics from the National Records for Scotland show that more than 98,000 teenagers who will vote as 16 and 17 year olds on 18 September are now registered to vote in the referendum, around 80% of the total eligible.
The number of EU citizens registered to vote in local government and Scottish parliament elections rose by 15,059 to 94,122 (19.0%). This is likely to underestimate the total number of EU citizens resident in Scotland, since many may not register.
This is likely to be result of efforts to recruit young voters for the independence referendum. Electoral registration officers have been working hard to ensure that as many 16 and 17 year olds as possible are registered to vote.
In England, a factor in the decline in the number of both parliamentary and local government electors recorded between 2012 and 2013 is likely to be changes in administrative practices for including people who have failed to complete the annual voter registration form on the electoral register (known as ‘carried forward’ electors).
It is also possible that administrative differences between local authority areas are contributing to the recorded regional variation.