The Devolution (Further Powers) Committee today published its report on the Section 30/63 Order that would see the powers allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote in future Scottish Parliament and local authority elections transferred to the Scottish Parliament.
The Smith Commission recommended the transfer of such powers from the UK Government and the Scottish and UK Governments subsequently agreed to bring forward the appropriate legislative measures before other areas in the Smith report. The legislative mechanism to achieve this transfer of powers is via an Order made under sections 30 and 63 of the Scotland Act 1998.
Committee Convener Bruce Crawford MSP said:
“The Committee listened to a range of organisations and individuals on the issue of allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote in future elections in Scotland. The Committee also spoke to 16 and 17 year olds who were eligible to vote in last year’s referendum, face to face at Parliament Days in Fort William and Levenmouth, as well as through an online survey, with over 1,000 responses. The overwhelming view was that it was only right that 16 and 17 year olds should be included in the franchise for future elections. So it is only right that the Scottish Government and UK Government have moved quickly to bring forward the legislation that enables the relevant transfer of powers to be in place in time for next year’s Holyrood elections. The Committee unanimously recommends that the Scottish Parliament give its approval to the relevant draft Order and enable all those involved in electoral administration to make the necessary arrangements ahead of the next elections to the Scottish Parliament.”
A copy of the Committee’s report can be found here.
The Scottish Parliament as a whole will consider the Order ahead of a meeting of the Privy Council on 19 March. If Parliament approves that Order, it will pass to the Privy Council for approval.
More information on the Committee’s work – including the results of the online survey of 16 and 17 year olds and a number of videoblogs submitted by young people – can be found at http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/83973.aspx