Students at a Fife university were able to register to vote as they matriculated, boosting the number registered ahead of the general election.
Tablets were available at St Andrews University as students enrolled on their courses in September, allowing them to ensure they were on the electoral roll at their term-time address.
Wendy Chamberlain, who was elected the area’s MP in December, praised the efforts of both the university and Fife Council to encourage the student body to make sure they were entitled to vote.
Her Liberal Democrat colleague Councillor Tim Brett said political disengagement of young people in previous elections had been harmful to democracy.
For the 2019 general election there was a higher turnout in North East Fife, where just two votes had previously won the seat for the SNP, of 75.6% compared to 71.3% in 2017.
Last summer the council supplied the university and students’ association with information on registration and during matriculation the university asked students for permission to forward their details to the electoral registration team.
Competitions are also to be run by the association between student societies to see who can get the most people registered.
The number of students registered is yet to be established but it is believed to have increased markedly.
Liberal Democrat Mrs Chamberlain said: “I’m pleased that there has been a joint effort to increase student voting in North East Fife.
“The university’s initiative at their matriculation event to bring iPads allowing students to register on the spot is ingenious.
“Every vote is a chance for change, and to have your voice heard.
“At a time when increasing numbers of people see politics as a hindrance rather than an opportunity, it is important to engage young people.”
Councillor Tim Brett, Liberal Democrat leader on Fife Council, said: “It’s clear that in previous elections low turnout and political disengagement of young people have been massively detrimental to British democracy so it’s encouraging to see a drive amongst the council, university and students themselves to register for last year’s general election.
“Although changes to the electoral system have impacted certain communities, I’m delighted that a collective effort has led to a higher turnout than in previous years.”
Since 2017 universities have a legal obligation to encourage voter registration under the Higher Education and Research Act.