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Lowering the voting age to 16

This petition had 413 supporters

Hi, my name is Carly and I am a 15 year old student at Esher High school currently working on a Citizenship campaign with my peers Saher and Lauren to lower the voting age to 16 years of age, this is because this is something I strongly believe in and am passionate about.

The idea of 16-17 year olds being given the right to vote is a very important topic. How is it fair that while older generations put across their points and vote for what they believe in younger generations just have to sit and watch on the side lines, thinking quite knowingly what they want but not being allowed to put across their points and say what they believe in themselves?

When you turn sixteen years of age you can leave home, pay taxes, get married, legally have a child, and even join the armed forces (with parental consent). Therefore, if at sixteen you have enough responsibility to look after another human being and consequently care for yourself without any help, how can we not be responsible enough to have a say in our future and vote for what we believe in? I can contribute to the country’s economy, but cannot directly have a say as which political party will raise money and spend it.

Moreover, research shows that most people that disagree with lowering the voting age disagree due to "bad choices" and "immaturity" but how do you know this when you do not give young people the chance? If competency is a reason to not allow people to vote, what test do the rest of the electorate have to pass to show they are competent to vote, fully understanding the manifesto’s they vote for, and the impact their actions have? Surely we would not want the electorate to be manipulated by the media and vote for parties based purely on the headlines of certain newspapers? The age sixteen is the age you are classed as a young adult showing you are able to make decisions for yourself, such as your future. Voting is a huge part of everyone's future in which sixteen year old's should have a say.

Also, teenagers spend more than half their day sitting in a class room, hearing about what their country is doing, what decisions their government is making, and how those decisions affect them, yet they don't have an influential voice on those decisions. Furthermore, by lowering the voting age it's a great chance for getting young people interested in politics. Lowering the voting age not only gives more people a say but it's an opportunity for young people to make a difference. Watching all the campaigns and getting involved, especially if the party you vote for win, the feeling of success is great. Even if they vote for a party that get a lower vote rate, it still can get the individual inspired and involved.

Finally, in the EU referendum young people didn't have an opportunity to vote for their future, however older ages got a say, therefore the younger generations have to live in a world and endure the decisions the older generations have made when maybe this isn't what they wanted, surely this is unfair and younger people should have a say? Maybe if younger ages would’ve had the chance to vote the outcome would’ve been different?

I would strongly appreciate those who agree with my point and work with me to allow young people to have a voice.

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