Scottish Government - Voter Registration

Local residents are being warned not to lose their voice on decisions that affect them by making sure their electoral registration details are up to date.

With Scottish Parliament elections taking place in May 2021, this is an important opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part.

The Electoral Registration Officer will be getting in touch with every household to check that the electoral register is up to date, and to identify any residents who should be registered but are currently missing. With all nationalities now able to vote in Scottish Parliament and council elections, this will be an important opportunity to ensure these new voters can get onto the electoral register before next year’s Scottish Parliament election. 

Bill Gillies, Electoral Registration Officer for Highland and Western Isles said:

“Residents need to keep an eye out for messages from the Electoral Registration Officer, so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in Highland and Western Isles and you are able to vote in any forthcoming elections. You might not have been able to vote before but with the extension of voting rights, you may be able to vote now – but only if you are registered”.

“If you’re not currently registered, the easiest way is to Register Online (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

People who have moved recently are also particularly encouraged to look out for the voter registration messages from the Electoral Registration Officer and to check details. Research by the Electoral Commission indicates that recent home movers are far less likely to be registered than those who have lived at the same address for a long time. Across Great Britain, 92% of people who have been at their property for more than sixteen years will be registered, compared to 36% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year.

Andy O’Neill, Head of Electoral Commission in Scotland, said:

“It doesn’t matter where you were born. If you are aged 16 and over you are able to vote in elections in Scotland but only if you register to vote first. Making sure you provide the necessary information to your electoral registration office when it is needed will ensure the process runs smoothly..

“There’s lots of Helpful Information About Registering to Vote (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) on our website.”

Any residents who have any questions can contact their local registration team at or by calling 0800 393 783