Retain the voting age at 18

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We, the undersigned, believe that voting rights in elections and referenda should not be granted to those aged below 18 because people in the 16-17 age bracket have generally not acquired sufficient political knowledge due to a lack of the experience of representative politics.

We also believe that, although some in the 16-17 age bracket may be more politically aware than their peers, as the law currently stands they still need their parents’ permission to marry or join the armed forces, and even if married, in the armed forces or employed, they do not pay taxes in sufficient amounts to be treated as equal to those of 18 or above.

We further believe that while granting the vote to those below 18 may well arrest the decline in electoral turnouts in the short term, it will not fix the problem of youth disengagement with politics, and lowering the age of enfranchisement without discussing its wide-ranging implications could prove a dangerous proposition.

We therefore call upon the British Government to reject any proposals to lower the voting age to below 18.

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