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Votes at 16
Time to make a lasting investment in Britain's youth
Votes at 16

In 2014's Scottish independence referendum, 16- and 17-year-olds will decide on the future of the United Kingdom. So why not give all our young people a say on the small matter of their next local MP?

What's the issue?

Lowering the voting age has come into focus owing to the Scottish independence referendum, due this year. Giving the vote to 16- and 17-year-olds was part a political deal struck between British and Scottish governments  but it could be so much more.

Why Votes at 16?

The next generation of voters are the first to have received citizenship education, yet are being denied their full rights as citizens. Lowering the voting age to 16 would allow a seamless transition from learning about voting, elections and democracy to putting such knowledge into practice.

The first generation of voters who have needed to study our democracy are denied the right to use this knowledge in a General Election for at least two further years, up to a possible seven years. And that's a missed opportunity.

Who supports Votes at 16?

The Electoral Reform Society is a founding member of the Votes at 16 coalition. Since we launched support for lowering the voting age can be found amongst politicians from all political parties, the House of Lords, the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament, as well as all the leading youth sector and young people’s organisations.


What you can do? 

You can find out more about the Votes at 16 campaign on their website.

And if you’re passionate about making politics better you can join us in our fight to build a better democracy.

Recent News
29th September 2014
This is a guest post by Cheryl Gillan, Conservative MP for Chesham and Amersham and former Secretary of State for Wales. The views, opinions and positions expressed within are those of the author alone and do not represent those of the Electoral Reform Society.   When I was asked to write this blog, the invitation […]
22nd September 2014
The ERS held its first Labour Party conference event this morning. The subject was “What next after the Scottish independence referendum?”   At one level this should not be so contentious – Scotland has been promised significant devolution of new powers by all three of the big Westminster parties. A very rapid timetable has been established […]
18th September 2014
Scotland is shrouded in a muggy haar today, and it feels as if we’ve been cut off from the rest of the world in order to concentrate and exercise our democratic right to vote: for or against independence. It feels like a reason to talk to strangers, smile at passers-by. We’re making history.   There’s […]