Children of armed forces personnel living abroad with their parents will have a vote in the independence referendum under legislation likely to be approved at Holyrood today.
Teenagers aged 16 and 17 are eligible to vote in the referendum but no mechanism exists to allow children of overseas military personnel to have their say.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has proposed a remedy through an amendment to the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill which enters the first stage of parliamentary scrutiny at Holyrood's Referendum Bill Committee today.
In a letter to the committee's convener, Ms Sturgeon said:
"The Scottish Government's referendum legislation applies current arrangements for the registration of service personnel to the referendum. These include provision that the spouses or civil partners are entitled to register to vote via a service declaration.
"However, this facility does not extend to children of those with a service qualification, because the voting age for reserved elections is 18.
"As the voting age for the referendum has been lowered to 16, and 16 and 17-year-olds are more likely to still reside with their parents, it is possible that this could have the effect of preventing some young people living outside Scotland to be with parents in the services from registering to vote.
– Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister
"I therefore intend to bring forward an amendment which would amend the Franchise Act to provide a mechanism for such young people aged 16 or 17 on the date of the referendum to register to vote in it, if they can provide an address where they would be resident in Scotland were it not for the fact that they reside at a place to be with a parent or guardian who has a service qualification.
"For those who cannot provide such an address, a previous address in Scotland can be given."