Renfrewshire Council

Voting information for young people

Voting information for young people, voting age, registering to vote, how to vote at a polling station, by post and by proxy and information from the Electoral Commission on the different elections. There can be a lot of unclear and old-fashioned words and explanations - and it is easy to feel a bit overwhelmed. This page aims to help you to feel more confident and knowledgeable about elections in Renfrewshire.

On this page:

Voting age

You can register to vote from 14 and are encouraged to do this so you are ready to vote when you can.

In Scotland, you can vote in the Scottish Parliament election and your local council election when you are 16.

Once you are 18, you can vote in all the others, such as the UK Government election.

Registering to vote

You need to register if you have:

  • never voted before
  • just become old enough to register
  • moved house recently
  • changed your name for any reason

It takes five minutes to do this by visiting Register to vote.

How to vote

At a polling station

On polling day, you can visit your nearest polling station to vote in-person

You will get a polling card in the post once you are registered and it will tell you where to go.

You don't need to bring this card with you, but it helps things go quicker when you arrive.

For UK Government Elections, to vote in a polling station, you need to show identification (ID) like a driving licence, passport or PASS card. If you don't have any of these, you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate.

By post

If you are busy on polling day or don't want to vote in-person, you can do it by a postal vote instead.

You need to register for this method in advance.

Sign up for a postal vote.

Your postal voting pack will tell you when you need to return this by before the election takes place.

By proxy

You can also vote by proxy.

This means allowing someone you trust to vote on your behalf such as your mum, dad, brother or sister.

Similar to a postal vote, you need to do this in advance and they then hand it in for you at the polling station.

If that sounds the best way for you, sign up for a proxy vote.

More election information

The people that run the election are called the Electoral Commission and they have a handy guide to what you are voting for at each election, be it Scottish Parliament or the local council elections.

Look at the Elections - what do they mean? webpage or download this booklet - All you need to know about voting as a young person [6MB]

You can go to the Electoral Commission, our local election office RVJB, your teacher at school, your parents or carer, or contact our team at the council.

It is important to find out why you are voting, what you are voting for, and it is so important you have your say by casting your vote.