Council backs campaign to lower voting age

2 November 2017

Cheshire west councillors are backing the rights of 16 and 17 year olds to cast their vote.

At its meeting on 26 October 2017, Cheshire West and Chester Council decided to support a campaign to lower the voting age in the UK.

Councillor Samantha Dixon, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Currently 1.5 million 16 and 17 year olds are denied the vote in public elections in the UK.

“The campaign to lower the voting age is supported by thousands of young people across the country and was listed as the most important issue to young people in our borough who took part in the Make Your Mark campaign led by the UK Youth Parliament.

“This Council believes that 16 and 17 year olds are knowledgeable and passionate about the world in which they live and are as capable of engaging in the democratic system as any other citizen.

“Lowering the voting age to 16, combined with strong citizenship education, would empower young people to better engage in society and influence decisions that will define their future.

“People who can consent to medical treatment, work full-time, pay taxes, get married or enter a civil partnership and join the Armed Forces should also have the right to vote.”
The Council has written to Chris Skidmore MP, Minister for the Constitution, to inform him of their decision in advance of the second reading of the Votes at 16 Private Members Bill being held on 3 November in the House of Commons.
The Council has also written to the borough’s MPs to appeal to them to support the bill at its second reading.

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