Alison McGovern MP

Wirral South

Rosie Bennett: Should 16 year olds be allowed to vote?

In the eyes of the law, 16 year olds are adults, they can get married, leave home, get a job, even join the army, but the one thing they can’t do, is vote, something granted to all other adults, it is unfair that in practically every sense a 16 year old is an adult, but not in the political way. 

If an 18 year old can now be a member of parliament, then what is wrong with a 16 year old voting for them? Reducing the age of voting would encourage many more people to understand the political system and may even make people who don’t vote see that it is important.

The voting age in Great Britain has changed many times, its last change being in 1969, when the age was reduced from 21 to 18, at that time, there were many who did not want it to happen, enough however did, so the age was reduced. If 16 year olds are allowed to do many of the things that over 18s can, what is wrong with giving them the opportunity to vote? 16 year olds can do many things that require much more maturity than voting, joining the army for example or getting married both need a person to be mature, how then, are they not old enough to vote on who runs that country? Young adults are responsible for their actions and have to abide by the laws, so why can’t they decide who they would like making those laws?

At school, you are taught citizenship in partner with history, you learn about voting and the history of people gaining the vote. In school, you are encouraged to vote, sometimes schools hold mock elections, and students vote for who they want on the student council, preparing them for when they have to vote for real, so why can’t they be allowed to vote sooner? Giving 16 year olds the vote would make them realise that they do have a say in what happens to the country, maybe reducing the age would make them go on to vote throughout their lives. Many 16 year olds have Saturday jobs if they are still in full time education, by having these jobs, it means that they are mature enough to be trusted with the responsibility of a job, so what would be wrong with them having a say in who they want to be running the country.

Rosie Bennett

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