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

The Scottish independence referendum showed once and for all that 16- and 17-year-olds are more than capable of taking important political decisions.

What's the issue?

Lowering the voting age has come into focus owing to the Scottish independence referendum. 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.

The arguments against votes at 16 are now in tatters, thanks to the way in which 16- and 17-year-olds conducted themselves in the Scottish independence referendum. How can we now deny these new voters and their contemporaries the chance to help choose their local MP?

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
3rd March 2015
The Lord Speaker of the House of Lords proposed an interesting idea in the Telegraph yesterday. In a comment piece for the paper, Baroness Frances D’Souza argues that the upper chamber should be ‘one in, one out’ to stop its further expansion – a sort of ‘stasis through retirement’ approach.   She’s certainly right to note […]
27th February 2015
David Cameron and Nick Clegg were in Wales this morning, announcing further powers to be devolved to the Assembly.   The UK Government is proposing to devolve control over elections to the National Assembly which would see AMs handed power to:   Change the voting system for Assembly and local elections Introduce votes at 16 for Assembly […]
25th February 2015
The ERS has long campaigned for devolution to the local level, but the Society also campaigns for proportional representation at a local level. Here ERS Deputy Chief Executive Darren Hughes outlines why they should go hand in hand.   Sign our petition for a fairer local voting system   The decision by the government to […]