Young people across Edinburgh are being urged to make their voices heard before voting closes in the Scottish Youth Parliament Elections tomorrow (Friday March 17).
Thousands of young people between the ages of 12 and 25 have already voted in the election, which has over 300 candidates fighting for seats representing their constituency or voluntary organisation.
In the Capital, the elections will result in 12 new Edinburgh Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament from across 6 constituencies.
The polls opened on 3 March and those who have yet to vote are being encouraged to make sure their voices are heard before it’s too late.
Councillor Cammy Day, Education Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The Scottish Youth Parliament offers a great opportunity for young people to be heard on both national and local issues and I would urge everyone eligible to cast their vote before polling closes tomorrow.
“These elections are a great opportunity to develop young people’s citizenship and debating skills as well as demonstrating democracy in action. The council is committed to involving young people fully in the life of our city, so they feel that Edinburgh is a place where they can really make a difference."
To date, SYP has been heavily influential in effecting change for young people across the country. As a longstanding campaigner for Votes at 16, SYP’s involvement helped to bring about policy change allowing 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum, and in all subsequent Scottish Parliament and local government elections.
SYP’s work to encourage the Scottish Government to raise the age of criminal responsibility from eight to 12 was also successful this year, when this long-awaited change was announced.
More recently, ten MSYPs met with the full Scottish Cabinet on 28 February to discuss issues affecting young people today. This historic event is now set to become an annual meeting, and has firmly cemented the relationship SYP has with the Scottish Government in ensuring young people’s voices are not only heard but listened to.
For more information on candidates standing for election, and details on how to place your vote (online voting is available in most areas via Young Scot’s e-voting platform) visit www.syp.org.uk/stand4syp.
The successful Edinburgh candidates will be announced at a special event in the City Chambers tomorrow night.