Question 6 – What are your views on ways that would make voting easier?
This question is about turnout and the Scottish Government’s wish for as many of the people of Scotland to have the chance to have their democratic say on the future of Scotland in the independence referendum.
In June 2010 the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee held a joint seminar in the Scottish Parliament on the subject of voter turnout. Over 50 organisations took part including the Electoral Commission, COSLA, the Scottish Youth Parliament and the Electoral Reform Society.
Up for discussion were the possible causes of low turnout in elections and ways to increase the number of people who register and use their votes in elections in Scotland.
Amongst the ideas discussed was the suggestion that elections could be held on a Saturday in order to make it easier for people to vote.
Other proposals included voting in places other than the traditional polling station – eg in shops, libraries or other public buildings – and encouraging the greater use of mobile polling stations.
The reasons behind Thursday being the traditional voting day seem unclear according to the BBC. However it is interesting to note that the last time a general election did not take place on a Thursday was on Tuesday 27 October 1931, and to note that the 1918 general election was held on a Saturday.
So what do you think? Do you think we should stick with Thursday voting or it is time for a change? Would it make it easier for you to vote? Or would religious reasons make it harder for you to vote? Should we be able to vote in libraries, shops or other public building? Do you have any other ideas on how we can increase turnout?
We welcome your view on this issue and the others raised in the independence referendum consultation. Have your say here: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/scotreferendum
Cabinet Secretary for Government Strategy and Parliamentary Business, Bruce Crawford