Skip to main content

Why The Voting Age Should Be Lowered To 16

Submitted by solomon on Fri, 09/15/2017 - 18:24
Image of Theresa May
Pic: Flickr Creative Commons / UK Home Office

In the UK teenagers aged 16 and 17 are seen as mature enough to get a job, pay taxes, join the army and face criminal charges but not deemed mature enough to choose the politicians that govern their lives. 

Brexit caused an uproar among many teens that were unable to vote. They had to suffer in silence whilst the "adults" were able to decide their future for them.

Image of the Houses of Parliament
Pic: Flickr Creative Commons / Maurice

The age for voting in the UK (except for Scotland) is 18, whereas in other countries (Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, and Nicaragua) the voting age is 16. If other countries are able to have 16-year-olds making important decisions, why can’t we? 

Teenagers below 18 are also not allowed to decide which government would improve their education. For example, Labour promised to lower tuition fees for university. But, they were not elected last June. If more young people were given the chance to vote, would the outcome be different?

Image of sign saying 'Polling Station'
Pic: Flickr Creative Commons / John Keane

Speaking to The Student View, a member of my year group when asked about what she thought about the voting age said: “It’s unacceptable to not give 16-17-year-olds a chance to vote. If Scotland can lower it, then so can the rest of the UK.”

We (the young and the old) need to stand together and protest. If the government won’t listen to us (the young), they will be sure to listen to older generations, they can vote after all...

By Lauren