11th Apr 2007 - VoteScotland roadshow comes to East Kilbride
People in East Kilbride will be urged to make their voice heard at the elections on 3 May when the VoteScotland roadshow comes to the town on Wednesday 11 April.
With only a few weeks left to go until the elections, residents are being urged to visit the roadshow at Kingsgate Retail Park between 10am and 4pm to find out all the information they need to be able to vote, including how to register and how to fill in their ballot paper on the day.
Visitors to the roadshow will be able to play digital games involving pop stars and footballers to find out how the voting systems work and experience a virtual walk through a polling station. There will also be give-aways and visitors will have the chance to practise filling out a ballot paper and be invited to sign up for a text reminder to vote on 3 May.
The roadshow is one of two planned for the town with the second taking place at South Lanarkshire College (Village Campus) on Tuesday 17 April from 10am to 4pm.
The roadshow tour is part of the national VoteScotland campaign, a politically neutral campaign organised by the Scottish Executive and the Electoral Commission to inform people about the Scottish Parliamentary and council elections on 3 May and to encourage everyone to use their vote.
Anyone who hasn't yet registered to vote can pick up a registration form at the event - the final deadline to register is 18 April.
The VoteScotland roadshow is particularly aimed at young people, who are less likely to vote - only 42% of 18 to 24-year-olds voted in the 2003 Scottish Parliamentary Election. It will also be targeting community and faith groups and certain minority ethnic groups which are also less likely to register and vote.
Archie Strang, the Returning Officer for South Lanarkshire, said: "Politics affects every aspect of our daily lives, including issues such as the environment and education. These roadshows are about encouraging everyone, especially young people, not to miss out on the chance to have their say on whatever matters to them by voting on 3 May.
"Voting is quick and easy and is your way of participating in our democracy. It really is the most important way of influencing the future."
A key aim of the VoteScotland campaign is to inform people about the two voting systems being used in the elections on 3 May.
For the council elections, voters will rank candidates in order of preference using numbers - the single transferable vote system (STV). Single Transferable Vote (STV) for council elections. STV asks voters to rank listed candidates in order of preference (1, 2, 3, 4 and so on). You can vote for as few or as many candidates as you choose. With STV, if the voter's first choice of candidate does not require their vote - having already secured enough votes to be elected - that vote moves (transfers) to the voter's second choice, and so it continues until the required number of candidates are elected.
For Scottish Parliamentary elections, voters will use an X to mark choices for constituency and region. Under this Additional Member System (AMS) voters have two votes - the first to choose a constituency MSP, the second to elect seven regional members from a list of political parties or individual candidates. AMS is a proportional system combining the election of constituency candidates with a vote for a preferred party or individual candidate.
To find out more, call the free VoteScotland Helpline on 0800 0141 012 or go to the VoteScotland website.
You can check whether you are registered to vote by contacting your local electoral registration office. Forms are also available at http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/(this link will open in a new window).
To receive a text reminder to vote on 3 May, enter the keyword VOTER into a text message and send to 61611 (costs at standard network rates). A dot mobile website where voters can access information about the elections on their mobile phones has been launched at http://www.votescotland.mobi/(this link will open in a new window). This is the first time a WAP site has been used for an election campaign in the UK.