SCOTS will soon be able to vote on their mobile phones under plans being considered by ministers.

The Scottish Government said it was also looking to introduce checkout-style touchscreen machines in polling stations as part of a shift to electronic voting.

The ideas are contained in a new public consultation on electoral reform.

The franchise, the length of parliamentary terms, are boundary reviews are also considered.

The Scottish Parliament has long had control over council elections, but recently acquired control of Holyrood elections as well.

The consultation says ministers plan to trial “innovative” electronic voting, which it says could increase participation rates and reduce costs.

The government is looking at two methods - touchscreen machines “similar to ticket machines at railway stations or supermarket automated checkouts”, and online voting.

The latter is done by sending registered voters a secure link inviting them to vote from their PC, laptop or mobile phone.

“This method of voting could be more convenient for some people and could mean that polls would be ‘open’ for longer, in that voters could cast their votes during a period of a few days, rather than on one given day,” the consultation said.

The exercise also asks people’s views on whether the standard Holyrood term should be changed from four to five years, whether the government should be able to reject national as well as local boundary commission recommendations, and whether the council and Holyrood franchise should be extended to include non-EU and non Commonwealth citizens.

There are also questions on whether candidate addresses should be redacted from council ballots and the order of candidate names jumbled up to make STV elections fairer.

Second home owners are currently able to vote in more than one council area where they have property - the consultation asks if this should continue or apply to other elections too.

The consultation asks for suggestions to improve gender balance in elected office.

Parliamentary business minister Joe Fitzpatrick said: “Our voting systems have remained broadly unchanged for over 100 years and now is a good time to think about modernising.

“We already have electronic counting for local government elections - is it the time to introduce electronic voting? Could this make voting more inclusive and increase turnout?

“Next year is the centenary of women’s suffrage, yet only 35 per cent of MSPs and 29 per cent of councillors are women. It is fair to say that elected representatives do not reflect Scottish society.

Scotland has led the way internationally by lowering the voting age to 16. We now seek to extend the opportunity to vote to all who are legally resident in Scotland.

It seems only fair that those who have the right to live here, whether from EU countries or elsewhere, have the right to vote. This consultation truly is democracy in action.”

The consultation runs until March 12.