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Young people urged to register to vote ahead of election

The deadline to register to vote in the December 12 election is at 11.59pm on Tuesday.

Voting: One in three young voters not registered. STV

Young people have been urged to register to vote ahead of the Tuesday night cut-off for the upcoming general election.

To vote in the snap election on December 12, voters must be on the electoral roll by 11:59pm on Tuesday.

The Electoral Commission says just 66% of 18 and 19-year-olds are registered correctly compared to 94% of over-65s.

A student union in Edinburgh is calling on young people to ensure they can have their say in the election, describing voter registration as “quicker than ordering a pizza”.

Figures from the UK’s electoral watchdog show only three quarters (74%) of those aged 25-34 are correctly registered, falling to 68% among those aged 20-24.

Students finishing their first semester at university can register at both their term-time and home address, and can then choose which constituency they wish to vote in.

However, it’s illegal to cast more than one vote on your own behalf in any UK election.

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Craig Westwood from the Electoral Commission said: “For some young people this will be their first opportunity to participate in an election, but it’s important they don’t miss the chance.

“Our research shows that young people are less likely to be registered to vote.

“It only takes five minutes to register to vote online – time that you might otherwise spend waiting for the kettle to boil or for a gym class to start.

“So if you want to make sure your voice is heard, go online and register now.”

Carla Ford, president of the Edinburgh College Student Association, said: “I think people associate politics with being complicated and lengthy.

“But it’s very simple – it takes two to three minutes. It’s quicker than ordering a pizza.”

Cameron Glasgow, 19, the youngest candidate in the general election, is standing in the election for the Scottish Greens in Livingston.

He is up against the SNP’s Hannah Bardell, Lib Dem Charles Dundas, Caitlin Kane of Labour and Conservative Damian Timson in the seat.

He said: “This is the most important election ever. Young people have been leading calls for action on the climate emergency, but so far political leaders have failed to act.

“I’d urge every young person in Scotland to register to vote today, and demand climate action on December 12.”

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