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Voting opens in 2023 Scottish Youth Parliament elections

Graphic with brush stroke, arrow and tickbox. Image of hands dropping ballot papers into a box. SYP Election logo in the middle.
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Young people will be able to cast their votes in the Scottish Youth Parliament’s elections as votes open today.

Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament, also known as MSYPs, are aged between 14 and 25. They are democratically elected every two years – two each for every Scottish Parliament constituency.

In total, over 160 new MSYPs will be elected with candidates having a chance to represent other young people in their local community.

Across Scotland, young people aged 12 to 25 will be eligible to vote between Monday 6th November and Sunday 19th November. Newly elected MSYPs will be announced as voting results come in on Monday 20th November, World Children’s Day.

This is an exciting opportunity for young people across Scotland to make their voice heard by voting to elect their new MSYPs who will represent them for the next two years.

We’d strongly encourage everyone aged 12 to 25 to go online, find out who is standing in their community, read about what the candidates stand for and then cast their vote.

I want to thank all of the candidates across the country who have dedicated their time so far to register for the elections and receive training – I wish them all the best with their campaigning!

Mollie McGoran MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament

Candidates standing to be the next MSYP for their community have been receiving training and planning campaigning. Once elected, the new Membership of MSYPs will receive further training in early 2024 to help them carry out their role before deciding on new campaigns for the next two years.

Most young people will vote for their next MSYP using their Young Scot National Entitlement Card through an online vote while some voters will use traditional ballot papers at in-person voting events organised by local authorities.

Young Scot’s new e-voting site will allow young people to easily have their say in this year’s SYP elections. Known for providing under 22-year-olds with free bus travel and legal proof of age, the Young Scot National Entitlement Card is also a gateway to local democracy.

Kirsten Urquhart BEM, Chief Executive at Young Scot, the national youth information charity said:

“Providing an easy way for young people to have their voices heard is precisely what Young Scot is about. Over 700,000 young people already have their free card and use them daily in their communities – so it’s a simple step to log on and cast their vote.

“Our work centers around empowering young people and this is a perfect example of turning our passion for innovation into a real-world tool that can support our partners, the Scottish Youth Parliament and, most importantly, young people.”

Since 1999, MSYPs have successfully campaigned for change for Scotland’s children and young people in their mission to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up.

Previous campaign successes have included free bus travel, protecting young people’s rights by campaigning to bring the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots law, and calling for 16 and 17 years old to be able to vote in all Scottish elections.

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