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Is it appropriate for 16-18 year olds to

vote?
Recently, the legal voting age has been debated to be lowered from 18 to 16, it was
first brought up in 1999 and has been waiting to be brought to light since then. I am
going to investigate the pros and cons of allowing under 18s to vote. I would like to
investigate this because I am a 16 year old who is interested in politics and the future
of this countries government.
The first country ever to allow under 21 voting was Czechoslovakia in 1946 which was a big leap
for its time because then, it was older people with wealth who really voted, also during the
Scottish referendum 16 year-olds were allowed to vote for the independence of their country and
according to ICMs survey, 75% of 16 and 17 year olds voted (Source 11), proving that under 18 year old
interested in the future of their country. In December 2014, Labour stated that they would support
the policy if they got overall majority in the 2015 election. This didnt happen so currently 16 yearolds are not allowed to vote.
There is a lot of debate on this issue as one side of the argument says that 16 is way to young age
to be able to decide the future of this country because there are still certain legal restrictions on
them and also they still have to have parental permission for most adult activities. Whilst the other
side states that At 16, the law allows a person to: Give full consent on medical treatment, get
married and join the armed forces (Source 1). So why shouldnt they be allowed to vote? Also, the
leadership of this country does directly affect 16 & 17 year olds, so why should they be denied the
Kieran Atkins

possibility of voicing their opinions? This source could have a vested interest because it is a from a
website that is focused on giving 16 & 17 year olds the vote, they may then go out of their way to
make their cause look better. This will make their opinions slightly biased against keeping the
voting age as it is.
There is also the fact that some 16 & 17 year olds might be too immature to vote and decide the
future of their country even if it does affect them. at 18, one is too easily swayed by immoral
politicians The younger a person is, the less their ability to make informed judgements, and the
matter of government should not be skewed by this factor. (Source 2). This does have merit,
because government is the foundation of security in this country so to leave that fate to immature
people would be unwise. However there are plenty of uneducated and immature people past the
age of 18 who are able to vote and There are some very well educated and articulate sixteen and
seventeen year olds that would love the opportunity to vote. So is it fair that these people are not
allowed to vote, when others do vote who are less educated on the subject? This source is from an
article which was made to persuade people to not allow the voting age to be lowered, they then
have a vested interest. This does give them a biased opinion because they will want to show
underage voting as a negative thing for the country.
This is definitely a subject with mixed opinions, both making very strong arguments, but after
researching on the internet I have formulated the opinion that 16&17 year olds should be allowed
to vote, this is primarily because the outcome of the votes directly affect the 16&17 year olds, so
logically they should be allowed a say. Also, if it is said that under 18s are too immature to vote
then I would reply with telling them about how there are plenty of immature people over 18 who
are entitled to vote. Also there may be some teenagers who are not interested with politics but the
number of under 18s who voted in the Scottish Referendum was phenomenal, being 75%, higher

Kieran Atkins

than under 24s with 54% and under 34s with 72%, going to show that young adults are
interested in politics, it does affect them so they should be allowed there sayand the vote.

Source: http://www.votesat16.org/about/
On this website they state that
At 16, the law allows a person to:
Give full consent on medical treatment
Get married
Join the armed forces
To name only a few of their reasons, if a 16 year old is
allowed to these things, why shouldnt they be allowed to be
part of the process to decide who runs the country?
This is a reliable source because it is from a website devoted
to giving a 16-year-olds the vote. This may, however, give
them a biased view

Source: http://debatewise.org/debates/418-thevoting-age-should-be-reduced-to-16-for-all-ukelections/#no1
Here, they say that because 16 year olds will be directly
affected by the turnout of elections, then why should they
not be allowed to voice their say? Also that they are actively
aware of how changes in government will affect them so
they should be allowed to have an opinion and for it to be
counted.
With the growing awareness of the society and the daily
occurrences we observe the sixteen year olds have the
ability to understand politics and its effect on their lives.
This is a reliable source as it is from an organisation who

Kieran Atkins

Source: https://yougov.co.uk/news/2012/02/15/andagainst-lowering-voting-age/
On this website they state that any age under 20 is too young
to vote, they say this because at 18, one is too easily
swayed by immoral politicians.
They also state that The younger a person is, the less their
ability to make informed judgements, and the matter of
government should not be skewed by this factor.
These are all good points, as how could you leave the fate of
a countries government, up to people with no experience of
it.
This is a reliable source as it comes from a website that gives
political information out to the masses, however all quotes
are from regular people, not written by the website or
politicians, however it is maned so it is reliable.
Source: http://debatewise.org/debates/418-the-votingage-should-be-reduced-to-16-for-all-uk-elections/#no1
They also state here that 16 year olds may be affected by the
outcome of the election and politics in general, however most
16-17 year olds are uninterested by politics so it would be
unwise to allow them the vote, there may be a few who are
but the majority are not.
The average 16 year old in this country seems completely
uninterested in politics and relatively unaware of its
significance.
This is a reliable source as it is from an organisation who
focus on showing the public different sides to current political
arguments, allowing them to make their own decisions.

focus on showing the public different sides to current


political arguments, allowing them to make their own
decisions.

Source: http://debatewise.org/debates/418-thevoting-age-should-be-reduced-to-16-for-all-ukelections/#no1
They are also stating that in recent years, schools have
been giving children more information about political parties
in both England and Wales, Englands new Citizenship
lessons and Wales Level 2 Welsh Baccalaureate.
due to the introduction of citizenship classes into the
national curriculum, 16-year-olds are now in a better
position than ever to make an informed decision at
elections.
This is a reliable source as it is from an organisation who
focus on showing the public different sides to current
political arguments, allowing them to make their own
decisions.
Source: http://www.votesat16.org/about/
Here they are saying that if you allow 16 year olds to vote
then they will actively seek an interest in politics because it
gives them power and responsibility.
16 and 17 year olds today are ready to engage and
participate in our democracy, having learnt the principles in
compulsory citizenship
This is a reliable source because it is from a website devoted
to giving a 16-year-olds the vote. This may, however, give
them a biased view.

Kieran Atkins

Source:findlaw.co.uk/law/government/constitutional_la
w/voting_and_ele
ctions/500453.html
This website is stating that voting is not simply a right, it is a
responsibility. They are asking the questions weather 16 year
olds are mature enough to make a decision.
Voting is a responsibility as well as a right: will children
under 18 take this responsibility seriously enough?
This is a reliable website because they are a website with the
focus of law and discussing laws and their affects.

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Source:
http://www.leapconfrontingconflict.org.uk/blog/should16-year-olds-have-the-right-to-vote-in-the-uk
They state here that 16 year olds may be able to get married
or join the armed forces etc. but this is only with parental
consent and 18 is the age in which you no longer require the
permission of a parent or guardian.
Even though it known that a sixteen year old can get
married, and join the armed forces, these measures can only
proceed with the terms of parental consent
This is a reliable source because they are a website that is
about conflicting political opinions and would be unbiased.

Source:
http://www.leapconfrontingconflict.org.uk/blog/shoul
d-16-year-olds-have-the-right-to-vote-in-the-uk
This sourceq21 stats that people may think of 16 year olds
being immature and unfit to vote, however the truth is that
there are plenty of intelligent people under 18 that know
about politics and there are plenty of people who know
nothing of politics and yet, they vote.
There are some very well educated and articulate sixteen
and seventeen year olds that would love the opportunity to
vote. This is a reliable source because they are a website
that is about conflicting political opinions and would be
unbiased.
http://blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/2014/12/many-1617-year-olds-voted/
according to ICMs survey, 75% of 16 and 17 year olds
voted
This source is stating the proportions of 16-18 year olds who
voted in the Scottish Referendum.

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Kieran Atkins

Source:
http://www.leapconfrontingconflict.org.uk/blog/should16-year-olds-have-the-right-to-vote-in-the-uk
Again, they say here that 16 year olds shouldnt be allowed
to vote for some scenarios because it doesnt affect them. For
example, laws about drinking or driving wont affect a 16
year old, so why should they be allowed to vote for someone
who might change those laws?
A 16-year-old also cannot buy alcohol, cigarettes, or drive a
car. So the grounds of consistency cannot be argued
This is a reliable source because they are a website that is
about conflicting political opinions and would be unbiased.