Your voice matters!
That’s the main theme – chosen by young people across the country - of Welcome to Your Vote Week 2024, which runs from January 29th to February 4th.
The annual campaign is designed to encourage school pupils and young people to use their voice and get involved in democracy, so that they can help influence and shape decisions about issues that matter to them.
The Electoral Commission, which runs the campaign, is encouraging local schools, youth groups and young people themselves to take part and also to think about ways they can be more active in local democracy for the longer term.
One of the key aims is to encourage young people to take up their right to vote whenever possible – by registering to vote in the first place and by using that vote in the appropriate elections.
Ahead of Welcome To Your Vote week, young people in Argyll and Bute who will soon be able to vote, if registered, will receive letters from 25th January encouraging them to sign up and ensure they’re able to use their vote at the next opportunity. You don’t need to wait to receive a letter, though – you can register to vote online. It’s quick and easy to do and it only takes five minutes at Register to vote - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
If you’re 16 or over and you’ve already registered, you can make sure your voice matters by voting in certain elections including the local government and Scottish Parliament elections in Scotland. While you can’t vote until at least 16, you can register from the age of 14.
There are many other ways that young people can be more active and use their voice in local democracy and in their community – including volunteering, talking with others about issues that matter, joining a political party or campaign group, voting when possible and even standing for election as decision-makers themselves. All of these and more make sure that for young people, your voice really can and does matter.
Find out more at Welcome to your vote | Electoral Commission – make sure you select Scotland as your location. There’s information there for young people as well as resources for anyone who works with them or supports them. Check out the #WelcomeToYourVote hashtag on social media over the course of the week for more details.