Lowering the legal voting age in New Zealand to 16

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Currently, the legal voting age in New Zealand is 18. In New Zealand, at 16, you can do many things. You can get married or enter a civil union, you can consent to sex, you can sit your learners driving test, you can leave school, you can earn adult minimum wage, you can apply for firearms license and you have to pay tax. It is unreasonable how at 16 years old, you are already treated as an adult, receiving benefits and contributing to the country's economy, and you are not allowed to vote on policies that will affect you.

Countries like Scotland, Argentina, Cuba, Ecuador, Austria, Nicaragua and Brazil have lowered the voting age to 16. Studies have shown that young people participate more when they feel like they are being taken seriously. Statistical numbers in countries that allow 16 years old to vote show a huge number of turnouts. This serves as a solution to our democracy as it can go hand in hand with civic education and form a habit of going to vote. Especially now in New Zealand, in the 2017 General Election, the voter turnout from 18-24 is the second lowest.

We need young people's voices and engagement in politics in order to ensure our democracy. It will also spark new and innovative policies for the country. New Zealand is one of the leading countries in the world in terms of equality, democracy, freedom of speech and diversity. Therefore, in demonstrating that we are a progressive leading country, petitioning to lower the voting age to 16 will boost our democracy, empower young people and stimulate their political engagements.

By signing this petition, you will be showing support toward lowering the legal voting age to 16.


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