Teens as young as 16 set to get vote in council elections
SIXTEEN and 17-yearolds in Wales will be given the right to vote in council elections under plans announced by the Welsh Labour Government.
Cabinet Secretary for local government Alun Davies said the proposals were designed to boost participation as he was concerned that young people were being “disengaged” from the political process.
Labour’s national party seized on the plans to urge the Tories to give 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote in UK general elections, arguing that the rules which only allow those aged 18 and over to participate were “inconsistent and unsustainable”.
Shadow Voter Engagement Minister Cat Smith said: “The Welsh Labour Government is leading the way by giving 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote in local elections in Wales.
“However, we are now in an inconsistent and unsustainable position where a 16-year-old living in Wales and Scotland can vote in local elections, yet they are denied the right to vote in UK general elections. “The Conservative Party is quickly finding themselves on t the wrong side o of history, while Labour is yet again showing that they are the p party of the m many.
“The time has now come for the UK G Government to extend the franchise to all 16 and 17-year-olds, and ensure equal voting rights across the United Kingdom.”
Mr Davies said: “I am concerned we are still seeing far too many people, particularly young people, disengaged from the political process.
“There are many reasons for this.
“But we must do more to make the process more attractive, welcoming and transparent.”
The proposals to extend voting rights were due to be formally announced this week.