Concern that those renting their home will miss out on election vote

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Campaign launched to encourage people to register to vote ahead of Scottish Parliament election in May

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26th January 2016 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

A campaign has been launched reminding people who do not own their home to register to vote.

Only 63.3% of those renting from a private landlord were registered to vote in 2014, compared to 93.6% of people who own their home outright and 89.3% who own their home with a mortgage.

Housing and homelessness charity, Shelter Scotland has teamed up with the Electoral Commission 100 days ahead of May’s Scottish Parliament election to urge people regardless of their living situation to register.

The two organisations unveiled a nine-foot inflatable ballot box in Edinburgh and are also attempting to remind homeless people they have the right to vote.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “With only 100 days to go until the election, we are targeting the thousands of people across Scotland who are not on the electoral roll and therefore cannot currently vote. 

“We’ve joined forces with the Electoral Commission to encourage people who may be living in rented accommodation, temporary housing or are homeless to register to vote and to make it as easy as possible for them to do so.

“Shelter Scotland wants to make sure that whatever their circumstances people have the chance to vote and make their voice heard.”

Andy O’Neill, head of the Electoral Commission in Scotland, said: “No one should miss out on voting in the Scottish Parliament election just because they rent or don’t have a permanent address.

“You can register using a temporary address or by making a declaration of local connection to register at a location where you spend a large proportion of your time.”

People with no fixed address are entitled to vote on the 5 May election providing they are 16 years of age or over on polling day, a British citizen, a qualifying Commonwealth citizen, or a citizen of the European Union and resident in Scotland.

They can register by making a ‘declaration of local connection’ – which is a statement to the local electoral office to say where they spend most of their time. 

Anyone with online access can register at gov.uk/register-to-vote.

The deadline for registrations is 18 April.