Pupils welcome chance to vote in referendum

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PUPILS who will qualify to vote in next year’s independence referendum have warmly welcomed plans to lower the age limit to 16.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon marked the introduction of the Scottish Referendum (Franchise) Bill by visiting future voters at James Gillespie’s High School.

Fourteen-year-old Niall Schiefler, a second-year pupil, said: “A lot of young people like us 
are very engaged and understand.

“For me, it’s definitely a positive thing.

“I don’t have a fixed viewpoint on how I’ll vote, but I think it’s great I’ll be able to vote on something that will have such an impact.”

Third-year pupil Rachel Chowings, 14, said: “I think it’s very important. When you’re 16 you can do lots of things, but not vote.

“I’m not sure how I’ll vote, but I think most people will vote. It’s the future of our country.”

Sixth-year pupil Cat MacDonald, 18, said: “It shows politicians are opening up to younger people. That can only be a good thing.

“Previously it might have been the case that politicians thought young people’s views don’t really matter.”