Younger voters will benefit democracy
THIS week the National Assembly took the progressive decision to legislate on votes for 16 and 17-yearolds in future Senedd elections.
By extending the franchise we will be revitalising democracy in Wales and empowering a whole new generation of active citizens.
Not everyone shares this positivity. Mr CC Windos in his letter (“Lowering voter age is just a gimmick”, October 11) states that young people “probably know nothing of politics”.
The Electoral Reform Society believes extending the franchise should go hand-in-hand with improved political education.
It’s why we are launching the Our Voices Heard project in which we will ask young people how political education in Wales can be improved. The results will feed into curriculum reform.
Even without this work, our young people are far from ignorant. During the Scottish referendum campaign, in which 16 and 17-yearolds could vote, they accessed more information from a wider variety of sources than any other age-group. They also voted in large numbers – 75% having their say.
When young people help build a deep and diverse political debate, we all benefit.