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1 March 2016, 07:46
High school pupils have been warned they have just seven weeks to register to vote in the first Scottish election open to 16 and 17-year-olds.
The Electoral Commission has launched a campaign which will see schools and youth groups across Scotland running electoral registration events with their pupils and other young people through the month of March.
The campaign, which is being run in partnership with education bodies and local councils across Scotland, aims to ensure that as many 16 and 17-year-olds are registered and able to vote at the Scottish Parliament election on May 5.
More than 200 secondary schools in Scotland, over half, have already signed up to hold registration events where pupils will be encouraged to register to vote online as part of the session.
Over three-quarters of 16 and 17-year-olds surveyed after the Scottish independence referendum said they had voted, and 97% of those who did so said they would vote again in future polls.
However, the Commission has warned they must register by April 18 if they want a vote.
Andy O'Neill, head of the Electoral Commission in Scotland, said: "It's not long now until the Scottish Parliament election and we don't want young people to miss out on having their say just because they aren't registered.
"With so many 16 and 17-year-olds still in school, this campaign is a great opportunity to take the registration message to them and make it as easy as possible for them to register.''
The Commission has urged young voters to spread the word on Twitter using the hashtag #ReadyToVote and encourage their friends to register using the hashtag #RegAFriend.
Registration can be completed at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.