It is nearly time to rock your vote! Read a newsflash from our National Youth Council about why it is important to take part in voting.  


Why Vote?

Voting is the way we choose those who represent us, make decisions on our behalf and how we hold them to account for those decisions. This guide has been developed to explain why it is important that you use your vote as an LGBT young person and also show you the steps involved in making your vote

NYC – Our history, our vision

The LGBT National Youth Council (NYC) first began in 2003 and brings together young people from across Scotland, to address the serious issues affecting all LGBT young people.

Change – prejudiced views and discriminatory vales which cause too many LGBT young people harm, stress, worry or fear

Defend – the rights of all young people affected by prejudice discrimination, homophobic or transphobic bullying

Enlighten – all young people and enable them to live sustained, successful, happy and prosperous lives

Empower – all young people to work together for future free form prejudice discrimination, stereotypes and negative values

The difference you can make!

It’s really important that as many young people as possible register and use their vote. Only by voting and lobbying for change can we hope to make lasting and positive change on the lives of young people. We understand though that some young people may not think there is any point in voting, or are just not interested. So, we’ve pulled together this list of important reasons why YOU should vote!

The issues people vote on are the issues that often affect young people the most!

While things like education, housing and jobs may seem a world away from the issues you care about but they are going to have a direct affect on your life, and the lives of your friends. And think about the world we are going to inherit one day – issues such as climate change, wars and global poverty – issues that are going to have a direct affect on the type of place we are all growing up in.

Through voting in the local elections in May you can help shape Scotland for the next five years. Although Scotland isn’t an independent country, it does have control over what’s known as devolved powers. These include;

  • Health
  • Education and training
  • Local government
  • Law, including most aspects of criminal and civil law, the prosecution system and the courts
  • Social work
  • Housing
  • Tourism and economic development
  • Some aspects of transport, including the Scottish road network, bus policy, and ports and harbors
  • Planning and the environment
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • Sport and the arts
  • Miscellaneous matters, such as compiling statistics and keeping public records


Why it’s Important for you, as a young person, to vote?

In the last General Election at Westminster as many as 6 in 10 young people turned out to vote which suggests approximately 56% of 18-25 year olds voted. However in Scotland, 89% of 16-17 year olds registered to vote for the independence referendum with 75% placing a vote.  

Scottish young people obviously have a good track record of ensuring their voices are heard. With 16-17 year olds allowed to vote in this general election for Holyrood, politicians obviously want this trend to continue to ensure they are meeting everyone’s needs and not just the older generation. Your voice and vote counts too. Be part of it!!

If you can, you should!

Choosing a candidate or a specific political party to vote for can have an important impact on various aspects of your life – from who is paying for education to what partnership rights they are entitled to; from how safe they feel on the streets to their access to safe and affordable housing.

You can find out more about all the different people and parties who are campaigning for your vote by doing some quick research online. Listen to what they are saying, ask questions of them and decide who is saying what you want to vote for

Why Vote Video?

Find the video here

How to Rock Your Vote


You can vote in the general election and the Scottish parliament elections if you are 16 years of age or over. The first thing you need to do is REGISTER to vote. You need to fill in a registration form to get registered. A form is sent to every home in each autumn, but you can register at any time. You should make sure to register when you move house. You can download a registration form and find out more about registering to vote at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk

Polling Card

If you are on the register of electors you will be sent a POLLING CARD just before the election. This tells you where, when and how to vote. You don’t need to vote, unless you are an anonymous elector, but do keep it till polling day.

Heading to Vote

On the day of the election, you need to go to the POLLING STATION. This will be somewhere near where you live, usually a school or local hall and the address of where it is will be on your polling card. There will be staff in the polling station when you get there, they will ask for your name and address to check you are on the register.

Staff at the polling station will give you your BALLOT PAPER. This paper is a list of all the people or parties that you van vote for. You may be given more than one of these ballot papers if there is more than one election happening on the same day.

Take your ballot paper into the POLLING BOOTH, so that no one can see how you vote. Depending on the election there are different ways of voting. In the booth there will be instructions on how to mark your ballot paper, or staff in the polling station can help. Make sure you don’t write anything else on your ballot paper or your vote may not be counted. Fold your ballot paper in half and then put it in the BALLOT BOX. If you aren’t sure what to do, ask staff at the polling station.

Postal Votes

If you can’t make it to the polling station and want to vote by post instead you need to fill in a postal vote application form before the election. For more information or to download a postal vote registration form please visit www.aboutmyvote.co.uk

When the voting is over all the votes across the country are counted. Dependent on the type of election the winner or winners will be those who have the most votes or the greatest proportion of votes. Results of the elections will be announced on the radio, on the television, online or in the newspapers.

How to Vote Video

Find the video here

Want to feel more informed? Have a look at our organisation's manifesto here!

Useful Links