The young people in our photo will all be voting for the first time in the Scottish Parliamentary Election 2021.

Jenny Carruthers (18), Sofia Macchi Watts (17), Lara Hunter-Douglas (18) and Emma Clarkson (18). Photo: © 2021, Martin P. McAdam

They are a small unscientific sample of voters who will be putting their cross on the voting paper for the first time. They are all friends and the curious thing is that all of them (except one) said they really want to have the ballot box experience rather than exercising a postal vote. Perhaps that makes it feel a bit more real?

Anyway they are all registered and raring to go on 6 May. And if you want to vote in the upcoming Scottish Parliamentary election then you have to register by 19 April. Full details of how to do so below.

Emma Clarkson (18). Photo: © 2021, Martin P. McAdam

Emma Clarkson is 18 and will be voting for the first time in May, and knows where her local polling place is in the west of the city. She is studying physical education at University of Edinburgh, which she loves and she also loves to dance.

Lara Hunter-Douglas (18). Photo: © 2021, Martin P. McAdam

Lara Hunter–Douglas is also 18 and works in PR. She is currently working in PR. She will be voting for the first time and thinks it is important to vote in person at least the first time round. In school there was a big push to encourage every one to register to vote, so Lara thinks that most of her friends registered then.

Archie Weetch (18). Photo: © 2021, Martin P. McAdam

Archie Weetch is 18 and will also vote this year for the first time. Archie who lives near Newington is studying to be a vet at University of Edinburgh and hopes to specialise in equine veterinary medicine – although he has only been let loose on the smaller animals for now.

Sofia Macchi Watts (17). Photo: © 2021, Martin P. McAdam

Sofia Macchi Watts is 17 and in her final year at school. She plans to go to Glasgow University and study English and Theatre Studies after the summer. She has registered to vote already and wants to go and vote in person.

Jenny Carruthers (18). Photo: © 2021, Martin P. McAdam

Jenny Carruthers (18) lives in Blackford and deferred entry to university until this year. She will begin studying Psychology and Sociology at the University of Aberdeen in the autumn where she is looking forward to the social life. She loves to dance the tango.

If you are going to vote then first of all you have to register.

  • Additional hygiene and distancing measures will be in place on polling day for voter and staff safety
  • If voters do not want to go to a polling place to vote they have the option of voting by post. Anyone can apply for a postal vote but this should be done as soon as possible.

Everyone aged 16 and over and all those legally resident – including foreign citizens – can register to vote in the Scottish Parliamentary election on 6 May.

Voters have a range of options for casting their ballot – in person, by post or by appointing someone they trust to vote in their place, known as a proxy vote. For those who choose to vote in person, polling stations will be following all public health guidance on the day.

The deadline to register to vote is midnight Monday 19 April, to apply for a postal vote the deadline is 5pm on Tuesday 6 April, and for a proxy vote the deadline is 5pm on Tuesday 27 April.

Find out more about voter registration and the election, including the safety measures we’re taking to ensure polling stations are safe and covid secure, on the Council’s website.

Archie Weetch (18) and Lara Hunter-Douglas (18). Photo: © 2021, Martin P. McAdam