Do young people think the voting age should be lowered?
The Social Futures and Life Pathways Project is an ongoing longitudinal study of young people from Queensland, Australia. 16 Also known as ‘Our Lives’, it is following a single aged cohort of young Australians as they progress from adolescence and into adulthood. The project commenced in 2006 when the cohort were 12–13 years old and were in their first year of secondary school. To date, six waves of quantitative data collection have been completed with the most recent survey being carried out in 2017.
In 2013, the Our Lives cohort were aged 18-19 years old and were voting at their first federal election. At this time, the Wave 4 Our Lives survey was administered to the group. One question asked of the cohort was whether they thought the voting age should be lowered from 18 to 16.
As their responses indicate, irrespective of education, background, or political affiliation the overwhelming majority felt that the voting age should stay at 18.