SCVO joins search for the missing million

Posted on 30/07/2014 by

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polling stationThe Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has joined forces with the STUC and the Daily Record for the Mission Million campaign to encourage the million people in Scotland currently unregistered to start using their vote.

John Downie, SCVO’s Director of Public Affairs, said: “It’s appalling to think that more than a million eligible people in Scotland aren’t registered to vote or won’t bother to use their vote, with the referendum just weeks away.

“We know that the top 20% of income earners are the most likely to vote, and as many as half of people in the bottom 20% don’t vote. This means it’s the poor, least educated and most vulnerable people who aren’t having their say. These are the people whose lives are most directly affected by political decisions about welfare, health and social care. If they don’t vote, it’s easier for politicians to ignore their needs.

“Politics is becoming all about raising funds and getting elected, no matter how few people actually support our politicians. But the referendum and other decisions about the economy, health and social care are far too important to be left to the politicians.

“Shockingly little is being done to convince people to use their vote but without enough voters we don’t have a healthy democracy. Charities can help but really it’s time for our politicians to do their bit to convince people that voting matters and to earn people’s trust.”

Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary, said: “The independence referendum offers a superb opportunity to reinvigorate politics in Scotland. But it seems that both the tone of the debate and the limited action to promote participation means that far too many people will not have their say in September.

“Both sides of the debate are claiming they will deliver on social justice, so whatever the outcome of the referendum we will need to hold politicians to their promises. It is not too late for one final push to encourage people to register, and to vote on September 18.”

Allan Rennie, Editor in Chief of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail, said: “The decision Scots make in the referendum is one that will resound for generations to come. That is why it is crucial as many people as possible are involved in taking that decision, by getting registered to vote and using their vote on 18 September.

“There is still time get on to the electoral register and have a say – but not that much time.

“That is why we have joined with the SCVO and STUC to campaign for Scotland’s missing million voters to make their voices heard in what is going to be an historic day for Scottish democracy.”

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