Votes At 16

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12 Feb 2014

I would like to see legislation to ensure that youngsters aged 16 and 17 will be able to vote at general and local elections.

At the last general election, only 44% of those aged 18-24 voted. Offering votes to people aged 16 would create a generation of politically active citizens, through empowering youngsters with the vote, coupled with strengthened citizenship education. Over time, voting would become a rite of passage in our education system.

In Scotland, 16 and 17 year olds have secured the right to vote in the 2014 independence referendum, whilst in 2012 the Welsh Assembly voted to support lowering the voting age to 16.

Changing the voting age would be an important way to ensure our youngsters have a better sense of their civic duties, but also to ensure politicians in Westminster listen to young people and their concerns.